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Bird's Nest (Beijing National Stadium)

Bird Nest.jpg

Beijing National Stadium, also known as the “Bird’s Nest”, is the main stadium for the 2008 Olympic. It can accommodate 90,000 spectators, with a construction area of 260,000 square meters, where the opening and closing ceremonies, athletics and the final of men’s football was staged. The outer surface of the “Bird’s Nest” is covered with air bubble film by way of padding, through which the sunlight is softened. The top has a sliding and openable roof, similar to a container’s cover, so that a pleasantly surprising visual effect can be achieved no matter the roof is closed or open. The inside of the Beijing National Stadium is divided into upper, middle and lower storeys, and the inside hall serves as an indoor town space with restaurants and stores.

Origin of Its Name
The “Bird’s Nest” is designed as a container with a top presenting the height fluctuation. Its inner and outer structural supports weave into a network of the building’s frame, like the twigs of a bird’s nest. Hence, the name of the "Bird’s Nest".

History & Background
The history of this architectural miracle began with an annoucement issued on December19, 2002. On March 26, 2003 a team of international experts examined the proposals coming from all over the world. In April, the winner was announced: the swiss Herzog & De Meuron firm, which along with Arup Sport and the China Architecture Design & Research Group would deliver the full project in December 2007.

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The Bird's Nest located at the Olympic Green, It spent US$428 million to build this stadium. 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. The design, 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 on 24 December 2003 and the stadium officially opened on 28 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.


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At the beginning the stadium wa designed to accommodate 80,000 spectators. Then the capacity wa increased to 91,000seatout of which 11,000 were temporary placed on the terrace of the top floor in front of the restaurants. To build the stadium, it took 17,000 workers and 44,000 tons of steel for the structure that rises six floors above the ground. Because of Beijing's geological charaacteristics, the stadium was also conceived to withstand major earthquakes and has become strcturally even more secure since it was decided not to proceed with a roof because of its cost. "Our goal was to creat an architetural building that could be utilized after the 2008 Olympics," said the Herzog & Meuron architect. To further celebrate the work a film was produced that narrates all the stages of the stadium construction.

Address: 1 National Stadium South Rd, Chaoyang
Opening Hours: 9:00-19:00 from April to October;9:00-17:30 from November to next March
Ticket Price: CNY120 on weekdays, CNY160 on weekends; Children under 12 are free.
How to get there:
Bus Route:
1. Take bus 82, 419, 538, or 645 and get off at Guojia Tiyuchang Dong ((Bird's Nest)) Station.
2. Take Sightseeing Bus 3 and get off at Beichen Donglu Station.
Metro Route:
Take Subway Line 8 and get off at Aoti Zhongxin (Olympic Sports Center) Station. Get out from Exit B2 and walk north for about 900 yards (823m).

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