Beijing 2008 Olympics Stadium: The Bird's Nest

Beijing Olympics Stadium

The Bird’s Nest is the more popular name for the Beijing National Stadium. It is a stadium that is located in the Olympic Green in Beijing, China and is so called because of its unique architecture that resembles a large bird’s nest. The Bird’s Nest was also the venue for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. It was also the venue for the track and field competitions as well as the men’s soccer finals match during the said Games.

The planning for the Bird’s Nest began in 2002 when Chinese government officials invited architects from all over the world to offer design concepts for the building of the stadium in a competition. It was later on won by a collaborative design work between Pritzker Prize winners Herzog and de Meuron, ArupSport and China Architecture Design and Research Group.

Ground breaking ceremonies for the stadium was done on December 24, 2003 with construction commencing on March the following year. Construction of the stadium was stopped after the collapse of the Terminal 2E of the Charles de Gaulle International Airport which is of the same design as the Beijing National Stadium. Work only resumed after design modifications were made. The work was completed on March of 2008, in time for the Summer Games in August.

The stadium has a seating capacity of 80,000 people. But during the Olympic Games, it held as many as 91,000 spectators. The stadium is 330 meters long and 220 meters wide. It occupies about 258,000 square meters of space with a usable area of about 204,000 square meters. The Bird’s Nest costs more than 420 million US dollars to build.

Aside from its unique exterior other notable features of the Bird’s Nest include the Olympic Flame cauldron which was lighted the whole duration of the Summer Games. Shaped like a conical scroll, the cauldron was placed on top during the opening ceremonies as it was lit, signaling the start of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games.

Image Source: Wikipedia

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