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China National Stadium

China National Stadium, Bird Nest

Venue: National Stadium;
Location: Olympic Green;
Total land surface: 258,000 sq m;
Permanent Seats: 80,000;
Temporary Seats: 11,000;
Competitions: Athletics, Football;
Post-Games use: The Stadium is to stage sports events at national and international levels, as well as cultural and entertaining activities;
Groundbreaking date: Dec. 2003;
Designer: Herzog & DeMeuron (Swiss) and China Architecture Design Institute;

The National Stadium, known as the "Bird's Nest," will serve as the main venue of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. It is located in the Olympic Green and occupies 21.4 hectares. It stretches 333 meters from north to south and 298 meters from east to west, covering an area of 258,000 square meters. The National Stadium is 68 meters high and holds 91,000 seats. The opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Olympic Games, Athletics and Football events will be held in it. The construction of the National Stadium began in December of 2003.

The national stadium is surrounded in a sort of membrane. Unlike China's National Aquatics Center, or "Water Cube," another Olympic venue which is also surrounded in this membrane, the Bird's Nest version is curved and double-layered, offering gracefully decorative soundproof, wind-proof, rain-proof, and even UVA protection to its already impressive body. The outer layer of membrane, completely constructed in November of 2007, was created using 884 individual ETFE panels, covering a total of 38,500 square meters. The inner layer consists of PTFE material. 1,044 panels take up 53,000 square meters of area, whose main purposes are to better the acoustics in the stadium and to support the equipment within the steel frame.This special membrane can also help lighting within the stadium and effectively diminish glare and shadowing, allowing for a more favorable competition environment.