The Keys for Approaching the Model (Olympic Stadium, Beijing, China)
Structure = Facade = Roof = Space
The design is based on the nests of birds, not only aesthetically, but also on the structural level. The facade and structure are the same. The structural elements support each other and converge into a spatial grid-like structure, in which the facade, stairs, bowl structure and roof are integrated. They are intertwined and support each other. Although it gives the impression of a random and almost natural route, the encounter of various elements and the direction taken are the result of precise calculations.
Though the Beijing National Stadium is often referred to as the “Bird’s Nest”, the original inspiration was from a combination of local Chinese art forms – the crackleglazed pottery that is local to Beijing, and the heavily veined Chinese “scholar stones”. However, when the artist Ai WeiWei first saw the proposal he quickly drew a bird in a tree. The panelised approach gave way to infinite lines of structure and the name “Bird’s Nest” quickly became synonymous with the project.
The external steel structure of the Bird’s Nest is separated from the concrete structure of the internal bowl-shaped audience area. Since steel and concrete have different vibration frequencies, separation can prevent them from tearing apart during an earthquake.
At the same time, the space between the exterior and the interior forms a public space and aisle. In this way, the stadium is surrounded by a 12-meter deep hall, which is at the same time façade, structure, decoration and public areas. In this open space that allows natural ventilation of the stadium, people gather in restaurants, bars and shops. It is the link between the city and the interior of the sports complex, and it is also an autonomous urban site.