When you tune in to the Beijing Olympics’ Opening Ceremony tonight, take notice of Beijing National Stadium, better known as the ‘Bird’s Nest.’ Its construction was made possible with the help of Tekla Structures software, which was used to design and detail the most challenging parts of the stadium roof’s steel structure.
In the design stage, 3-D views of the stadium roof’s beams and joints were created with the help of Tekla Structures. The stadium façade’s interwoven structural elements form a single surface, on top of which other elements are arranged in an almost chaotic manner, blurring the difference between the primary and secondary structures and giving the stadium its nest-like appearance.
To reduce construction costs, designers enlarged the opening in the saddle-shaped roof, a change which decreased the total weight of steel used from 45,000 tons to 42,000 tons. Modeling and detailing the most complicated parts of the steel roof took one year.
The architecture and structural design were the responsibility of the Swiss firm Herzog & de Meuron, the China Architecture and Design Research Institute, and the British firm Arup. The Chinese steel companies Haorong, Huning and Jinggong carried out the modeling and detailing of the steel roof using Tekla Structures software.
Already a symbol of pride for the people of China, the Bird’s Nest – nicknamed because of its exterior appearance – will serve as the main Olympic venue this summer and will be the stage for the track and field competition in addition to the games’ opening and closing ceremonies.
Beijing National Stadium at a glance:
- Size: 332.3 meters long, 297.3 meters wide and 69.2 meters tall
- Total site area: 204,278 square meters
- Gross floor area: 258,000 square meters
- Largest steel truss span: 343 meters
- Total weight of steel: 42,000 tons
- Seating capacity: 91,000