Beijing China Design

Birds Nest

On Sunday last weekend, I wandered (or should I say hiked) over to the Olympic Park in Beijing which is still heavily under construction in hope of getting a few snaps of the amazing “Birds Nest” stadium which is nearly complete. Unfortunately, the perimeter of the site is almost completely fenced off and well guarded which made getting a good photo difficult and none of mine came out very well. Maybe I was just looking in the wrong place but it appears others have had more luck…

National Stadium - The Bird's Nest
Image © Pen9

View from the road
Image © Pen9

Built using 36 km of unwrapped steel, with a combined weight of 45,000 tonnes the structure makes no distinction between the façade and the superstructure with both supporting each other. The concept of interwoven twigs making up the “nest” is ingeniously reflected in the design which is simple but very effective – at an estimated cost of 3.5 billion yuan, you’d certainly expect it! Check out this NY Times article for more info about the design.


One thing I certainly noticed in abundance on the construction site was the vast number of migrant workers living in fairly basic prefabs who were obviously bemused as to the reason why I’d turned up to the park a year early! Apparently, there were as many as 7,000 working on the nest in 24hr shifts alone at one point… food for thought…


Originally from the UK, David is designer and wanderer currently based in Kamakura. Prior to this, he lived in China and longs to explore more of this vast and varied land. He started Randomwire in 2003 to chronicle his travels and occasional musings. Feel free to drop him a line.

6 Comments Add New Comment

  1. Maria says:

    Wow! That stadium looks amazing! ^_^ It's ingenious and very, very pretty. How is the construction work for the rest of the park going?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *