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Olympic Stadium, Beijing

Olympic Stadium, Beijing
Sports stadiums have long followed the enduring design of one of the original wonders of the world, Rome ’s Coliseum. Herzog & de Meuron’s National Stadium in Beijing is an attempt to rethink the classic sports-arena layout for more ecologically correct times.
The Swiss architects (of Tate Modern fame) wanted to provide natural ventilation for the 91,000-seat structure — perhaps the largest “eco-friendly” sports stadium designed to date. To achieve this, they set out to create a building that could function without a strictly enclosed shell, yet also provide constant shelter for the audience and athletes alike.
To solve these design problems, they looked to nature for inspiration. The stadium’s outer grid resembles a bird’s nest constructed of delicately placed branches and twigs. Each discrete space within the facility, from restrooms to restaurants, is constructed as an independent unit within the outer lattice — making it possible to encase the entire complex with an open grid that allows for natural air circulation. The architects also incorporated a layer of translucent membrane to fill any gaps in the lacy exterior.
image � Herzog and de Meuron

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