China National Stadium
- "Bird's Nest"
The Bird's Nest, is also known as
the National Stadium in Beijing, it was designed for
use throughout the 2008 Summer Olympics and Paralympics.
Located in the Olympic Green, the $423 million stadium
is the world's largest steel structure. The design was
awarded to a submission from the Swiss architecture
firm Herzog & de Meuron in April 2003, after a bidding
process that included 13 final submissions.
Design of Bird's Nest
The design of Bird's Nest, which originated
from the study of Chinese ceramics, implemented steel
beams in order to hide supports for the retractable
roof; giving the stadium the appearance of a "Bird's
nest". Leading Chinese artist Ai Weiwei was the
artistic consultant on the project. The retractable
roof was later removed from the design after inspiring
the stadium's most recognizable aspect. Ground was broken
in December 2003 and the stadium officially opened in
June 2008. A shopping mall and a hotel are planned to
be constructed to increase use of the stadium, which
has had trouble attracting events, football and otherwise,
after the Olympics.
Bird's Nest was a joint venture among
architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron of Herzog
& de Meuron, project architect Stefan Marbach, artist
Ai Weiwei, and CADG which was lead by chief architect
Li Xinggang. During their first meeting in 2003, at
Basel, the group decided to do something unlike Herzog
and de Meuron had traditionally designed. "China
wanted to have something new for this very important
stadium," Li stated. In an effort to design a stadium
that was "porous" while also being "a
collective building, a public vessel", the team
studied Chinese ceramics. This line of thought brought
the team to the "nest scheme". The stadium
consists of two independent structures, standing 50
feet apart: a red concrete seating bowl and the outer
steel frame around it.
Attempting to hide steel supports
for the retractable roof, which required in the bidding
process, the team developed the "seemingly random
additional steel" to blend the supports into the
rest of the stadium. Twenty-four trussed columns encase
the inner bowl, each one weighing 1,000 tons. Despite
random appearance, each half of the stadium is nearly
identical. After a collapse of a roof at the Charles
de Gaulle International Airport, Beijing reviewed all
major projects. It was decided to eliminate the retractable
roof, the original inspiration for the "nest"
design, as well as 9,000 seats from the design. The
removal of the elements helped to bring the project
under the reduced construction budget of $290 million,
from an original $500 million. With the removal of the
retractable roof, the building was lightened, which
helped it stand up to seismic activity; however, the
upper section of the roof was altered to protect fans
from weather. Due to the stadium's outward appearance,
it was nicknamed "The Bird's Nest".
Cloud Taoist Temple
Center "Water Cube"
Stadium "Bird's Nest"