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Bird Nest

The Beijing National Stadium, located in the Olympic's Green, also known as the bird's nest is the main track and field stadium for the 2008 Summer Olympics and is host to the Opening and Closing ceremonies. In 2002 Government officials engaged architects worldwide in a design competition. Ritzier Prize-winning architects Herzog & de Meuron collaborated with Arup Sport and China Architecture Design & Research Group to win the competition. The stadium seats as many as 100,000 spectators during the Olympics, but this will be reduced to 80,000 after the games. The stadium is 330 meters long by 220 meters wide, and is 69.2 meters tall. The 250,000 square meter (gross floor area) stadium is built with 36 km of unwrapped steel, with a combined weight of 45,000 tones. The stadium costs 3.5 billion Yuan (422,873,850 USD) to be built. The stadium is like a nest ready to produce flesh and life, is more like a cradle, is to hope a greater future for mankind.
In the final design, the roof of the stadium had been omitted from the design. Experts say that this will make the stadium safer, whilst reducing construction costs. The stadium's appearance is one of synergy, with no distinction made between the facade and the superstructure. The structural elements mutually support each other and converge into a grid-like formation - almost like a bird's nest with its interwoven twigs. There are no upright columns, and netted grid-like formation has no distinct direction. In this way, every seat inside seems to be equal to each other. Sunlight comes into through the grid-like opening, one feels he is in the forests. The spatial effect of the stadium is novel and radical, yet simple and of an almost archaic immediacy, thus creating a unique historical landmark for the Olympics of 2008.

The stadium was conceived as a large collective vessel, which makes a distinctive and unmistakable impression both from a distance and when seen from up close. It meets all the functional and technical requirements of an Olympic National Stadium, but without communicating the insistent sameness of technocratic architecture dominated by large spans and digital screens.
Visitors walk through this formation and enter the spacious ambulatory that runs full circle around the stands. From there, one can survey the circulation of the entire area including the stairs that access the three tiers of the stands. Functioning like an arcade or a concourse, the lobby is a covered urban space with restaurants and stores that invite visitors to stroll around. Just as birds stuff the spaces between the woven twigs of their nests with soft filler, the spaces in the structure of the stadium are filled with inflated ETFE cushions.
While the rain is collected for rainwater recuperation, the sunlight is to filter through the translucent roof, providing the lawn with essential ultraviolet radiation. On the facade, the inflated cushions are mounted on the inside of the structure where necessary, e.g. to provide wind protection. Since all of the facilities -- restaurants, suites, shops and restrooms -- are all self-contained units, it is possible to do largely without a solid, enclosed facade. This allows for natural ventilation of the stadium, which is the most important aspect of the stadium's sustainable design.
By Angela


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