A first look at Beijing’s main Olympic stadium

Today I was among the first journalists allowed inside Beijing’s main Olympic stadium where the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2008 games will be held. No journalists had previously been allowed inside the stadium, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2007. It’s a spectacular feat of engineering, that, when finished, will ...

607046_DSCN05822.jpg
607046_DSCN05822.jpg

Today I was among the first journalists allowed inside Beijing's main Olympic stadium where the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2008 games will be held. No journalists had previously been allowed inside the stadium, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2007.
 
It’s a spectacular feat of engineering, that, when finished, will either be one of the world's most magnificent structures, or one of the ugliest. More photos after the break.

Today I was among the first journalists allowed inside Beijing’s main Olympic stadium where the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2008 games will be held. No journalists had previously been allowed inside the stadium, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2007.
 
It’s a spectacular feat of engineering, that, when finished, will either be one of the world’s most magnificent structures, or one of the ugliest. More photos after the break.

More photos after the BREAK.

The stadium is dubbed “The Nest,” (strangely, bird nests are a culinary delicacy in China) which refers to its outer structure, completed today. It’s a series of spectacularly complicated suspended steel beams, which will be polished and left as is. The overhang of “the nest” on the inside is a marvel of engineering. The rusted steel supports you see in the photos of the inside are in the process of being removed, so the overhanging steel-beam roof will be free-standing.

The wooden “nest” you see above, sitting on the stadium floor, is the inspiration for the design.


In the photo above (showing the inside of the stadium), the banner on the far right (red with gold Chinese characters) congratulates workers on finishing “the nest”—it’s the closest thing to revolutionary propaganda that can be found in Beijing today.

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