Canadian Consulting Engineer

Beijing Olympics spawn “Birds Nest”

Just before the year of the 2008 Beijing Olympics dawned, officials for the games announced that 36 of the 37 venue...

January 4, 2008   Canadian Consulting Engineer

Just before the year of the 2008 Beijing Olympics dawned, officials for the games announced that 36 of the 37 venues for the games are completed. Only the star attraction — the centrepiece National Stadium — is outstanding, with its completion scheduled for March.
Dubbed the “Birds Nest,” the extraordinary National Stadium covers 258,000 square metres and seats 91,000 spectators for athletics and football events. The ovoid structure perches on Beijing’s Olympic Green, a vast plain that stretches to the horizon, laid out with monumental buildings and straight roads.
The “Bird’s Nest” stadium is a lopsided doughnut shape, with a moulded ring of irregular steel trusses surrounding an inner concrete ring. The stadium’s height rises from 40 metres on one side to 69 metres on the other. The steel skeleton weighs 42,000 tons, of which the roof and “hanging” elements amount to 11,200 tons. It was designed by Swiss architects Herzog and DeMeuron and the China Architecture Design Institute.
Building the structure involved using 78 temporary supporting structures that had to be removed in careful sequence with lifting jacks, in a process that took three days.
Souvenir gold and tin plate scale models of the stadium went on sale in Beijing last fall. According to reports, people queued all night for the models, which are being sold in a “limited” edition of 99,999. They sell for between US $120 and $530, depending on the size.
For more details, see the official website http://en.beijing2008.cn/cptvenues/venues/nst/n214078095.shtml


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