Bird Nest Stadium – National Stadium, Beijing, China

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In the center of Beijing, there is a modern design structure made with forty-two thousand tons of steel beams woven together to resemble the shape of a bird’s nest. It’s the result of a wonderful vision of an international team of architects and engineers, and it took center stage in one of the biggest events of the last decade, the 2008 Olympic games.

The stadium was designed by the architect Herzog & de Meuron, ArupSport and China Architectural Group. The Beijing National Stadium is made of giant masses of twisted steel, which are put together to form a steel skeleton structure of this unusual arena. Its steel roof is 320 meters long, 297 meters wide, and 69 meters high which cover a massive bowl that seats 91,000 spectators. It is one of the largest stadium ever built in China.

BIrd NEst Stadum at Night

It also became the center of the biggest sporting event in Chinese history, the 2008 summer Olympics. But even more impressive that its sheer size is its unprecedented design. It’s an ambitious plan that calls for giant curving beams which crisscross in an intricate pattern of woven steel. They give the building its name the “Bird’s Nest”. No building like this has ever been attempted in the world in the history of architecture.

Bird Nest Stadium Structure

As the design evolved it was quite clear that it was going to be a major challenge to engineer it, fabricate it and to assemble it, which was very complicated. The complex design structure, with its twist and turn is first of its kind. The steel structure of the bird’s nest is super huge and is one of the biggest structure in the world. There were some challenges with the construction of this mega steel architectural structure, one of them is that it is located in the middle of a seismic region. Now, the main challenge was to make this fragile design strong enough to withstand the seismic activities.

Construction

Beijing Bird Nest Stadium construction began in December 2003 and was completed in a span of nearly four years in September 2007. The original design for the stadium consisted of a retractable roof, which was later eliminated in keeping mind the safety of the spectators and also the reduced budget. However, the roof design was altered to save the fans from the undesirable weather conditions. There were many problems during its construction and architects changed the structural analysis and design many times.

Construction of Bird Nest stadium

As the stadium was mainly constructed for 2008 Olympics, the biggest problem was accommodation of thousands of people in the stadium. There were many problems during its construction and architects changed the structural design many times. As the stadium was mainly constructed for 2008 Olympics, the biggest problem was accommodation of thousands of people in the stadium.

The steel roof of the stadium was skinned with high-tech membranes, which lets the sunlight in to conserve energy. The membrane also keeps the rain and wind out. State-of-the-art technology system was used to conserve energy, water and to regulate the heat.

The building’s facade is open, allowing natural ventilation. Nearly 17,000 professionals and workers were involved in the construction of this magnificent structure. Around 110,000 tons of steel was used in the overall construction, which was made in China. The grass field has a surface area of 7,800 square meters.

The stadium was originally constructed and designed for the 2008 Olympics, after that, the stadium has hosted various sports events, including football.

 

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Design

The architects who designed this stadium have also designed the famous Allianz arena in Munich. But this was a whole different task. The architectural concept for this was inspired by the Chinese art, where sweeping lines are arranged around a round vessel.

beijing-bird-nest-stadium-design

The architects and engineers wanted this to become a city icon rather than some contemporary event building. The architects have to think and come up with a design that can appeal to people, where they can walk in and out freely. Also, it had to be such that it does not lose it identity after the 2008 Olympics event.

The budget for the construction was reduced from $500 million to $290 million. As a result, the plan for recreating roof has to be dropped, thereby reducing the sitting capacity of the stadium by 9,000.

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