The National Stadium - Bird's Nest

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I have always thought that Inspiration has to be one of the main ingredients in our own human nature. Inspiration and design are linked just like Hydrogen and Oxygen are. In order to create water you mix these two elements - in order to create innovative design and unique results you have to mix inspiration and innovation. This alchemy goes further when you add functionality to the mix.

Today while surfing the net I found a great example of this extraordinary alchemy in our world today. This example is the new National Stadium which will be the home for the Beijing Olympic Games this 2008. Colloquially know as the bird's nest. It is remarkable how something base in Chinese ceramics is so simple and can inspire something so unique, so functional, and so wonderfully complex.

The Alchemists of this stunning architecture piece are Herzog & DeMeuron (Swiss) and China Architecture Design Institute. Herzog & DeMeuron was awarded the Pritzker Prize, the highest of honours in architecture. Jury chairman J. Carter Brown, commented, "One is hard put to think of any architects in history that have addressed the integument of architecture with greater imagination and virtuosity." This in reference to HdeM's innovative use of exterior materials and treatments, such as silk screened glass. Architecture critic and Pritzker juror Ada Louise Huxtable summarized HdeM's approach concisely: "They refine the traditions of modernism to elemental simplicity, while transforming materials and surfaces through the exploration of new treatments and techniques."[1] In 2006, the New York Times Magazine called them "one of the most admired architecture firms in the world."'

Some interesting facts:

  • Location: Beijing, People's Republic of China.
  • Broke ground: December 2003
  • Opened: March 2008
  • Owner: Government of the People's Republic of China
  • Surface Grass Construction cost: 3.5 billion yuan (~USD $423 million)
  • Architect: Herzog & de Meuron
  • Tenants: Chinese Olympic Committee 2008 Summer
  • Olympics Capacity: 100,000
  • Post Olympic Capacity: 80,000

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