Case | HBS Case Collection | February 2010 (Revised June 2010)

Arup: Building the Water Cube

by Robert G. Eccles, Amy C. Edmondson and Dilyana Karadzhova

Abstract

Arup, an engineering firm, collaborated with PTW Architects and China Construction Design Institute to develop a design for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics Aquatics Center design competition. Their winning concept for the Water Cube combined elements of Chinese culture with innovative materials and sustainability requirements. The multidisciplinary and cross-company team, based in Sydney, Australia with counterparts in Beijing, faced project management challenges and cultural differences. The Water Cube became an iconic image during the Olympics, and managers at Arup now wonder how to leverage the impact within the company.

Keywords: Buildings and Facilities; Environmental Sustainability; Design; Construction; Cross-Cultural and Cross-Border Issues; Projects; Groups and Teams; Real Estate Industry; Sports Industry; Beijing; Sydney;

Citation:

Eccles, Robert G., Amy C. Edmondson, and Dilyana Karadzhova. "Arup: Building the Water Cube." Harvard Business School Case 410-054, February 2010. (Revised June 2010.)