Beijing 2009 - Beijing National Stadium

The Beijing National Stadium is commonly known as the Bird’s Nest. Designed by Swiss duo – Herzog and De Meuron, this is the most iconic building in Beijing. The image of the building has been used on everything you can imagine. 

It costs RMB 50 to visit the stadium.

While the image of the building is indeed compelling and quite appropriate for China, up close the architecture isn’t as impressive. Again, the building suffers from a lack of design development. As a result you see only the big ideas, and not much refinement. In fact parts of the building appear to be quite crude due to the poor quality of construction.

Much of the external structure appear to be there just for show, and do not really accommodate any useful spaces or function. The maintenance is also so poor that the building already looks quite old, despite it being opened only in 2008. Much of the external structures are covered in a thick layer of dust.

The inside of the stadium looks and feel like any large stadium around the world. There is really nothing much to distinguish it from other designs. 


Like the Water Cube, the best views of the Bird's Nest are at night.

Having visited the Water Cube and the Bird’s Nest, I am left with the feeling that in the rush to create iconic buildings with International resonance, the architects or the people involved have focused on the visual aspect of architecture. Spatial quality, usability, function and common sense have been left behind. The result is buildings which are visually impressive, but without a soul. 

I heard that due to under-utilization of the facility, the Bird’s Nest may be converted into a Shopping Centre. Would it be a fitting fate for the building, or a travesty ?


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