In recent times the architecture of large sports stadiums has been one of the great protagonists in the innovations of the art of construction. And a good example is the Bird's Nest Stadium which was built in Beijing for the 2008 Olympic Games.
Peking Bird's Nest
The work was designed by the pair of Swiss architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, with enormous prestige in the panorama of current architecture, something that has undoubtedly multiplied after the final result and the fame that this building has gained, whose external appearance is truly superb thanks to that peculiar steel framework that recalls the fabric of bird nests.
But in addition to its aesthetics, it also stands out for its large dimensions, with 330 meters long, 300 meters wide and almost 70 meters high. The truth is that the work has a lot of apparatus, and without a doubt China conceived it as a monumental showcase of its economic power. For which he did not hesitate to spend all the money that was necessary.
Its construction lasted from 2003 to 2008, in fact it was inaugurated for the Olympics without being 100% finished, something that was achieved once the Games were over. By then it was conceived as an enclosure for 90,000 spectators. A figure that has since been reduced.
Without a doubtaesthetically it is a marvel, something that is largely due to the collaboration of the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, who designed that interlacing of steel beams that surrounds the enclosure, which can also be seen like a gigantic oval-shaped chair. Although it must be said that there are two independent structures. On the one hand, the concrete center with the stands and then the steel structure, the heaviest and largest in the world.
In addition, issues such as the flexibility of the facilities for future uses, both sports and cultural, were taken into account. Just as sustainability criteria were incorporated, such as the channels that allow rainwater to be collected and used for cleaning, or there is also an important contribution of solar energy. And it also has a large geothermal heat pump for air conditioning the building.
The Bird's Nest in Beijing has become a benchmark for the construction of modern stadiums, in which many factors are taken into account, beyond the sports space or the movement of people inside. Concepts such as car parks, spaces for consumption and leisure inside are also incorporated into this type of works. In other words, it's like a kind of shopping center where there are no shortage of shops, gyms, restaurants or cinemas.
However, despite all this, that does not hide the fact that it is currently a wonderfully underused work, even more so if we take into account its inordinate cost.