Bird’s Nest

I was glued to the set on August 8, 2008 as I watched in awe of the spectacle that Beijing presented to the thousands of spectators that streamed through the gates of the National Stadium and to millions of others that watched (like me) on television.  Amazed at how they could even begin to prepare for this night — the thousands of dancers, drummers, percussionists, martial art performers, musicians and various artists in full regalia, all performing to the hilt.  Put aside the performers, I was equally awed at the stunning latticework structure that lit beautifully and was made more arresting when the fireworks exploded in its midst.  I knew that one of these days; I will be looking at it up-close and personal.

Two years later, we were entering a structure that is a feast to the eyes not only from afar, on TV but up-close as well.  This elliptical latticework has become an architectural landmark and an Olympic legacy.

The latticework echoing even to the garden lights.

An aesthetic and engineering marvel.  We see as we enter that the grid-like framework serves as both façade and structure merging the walls and roof into one integrated system.

The Bird’s Nest, as it is has been fondly referred to, is the Beijing National Stadium.  Designed by Swiss architects Herzog and De Meuron, this futuristic stadium hosted (as the world knows) the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Today, aside from it being a tourist spot, it continues to host sport events and has become a large scale sports and entertainment facility for the Beijing residents.

Tired local tourists

There seemed to be a lot of activities going on that day.  Aside from the visitors that flock in on a daily basis, there were athletes and other performers either rehearsing or practicing.

There even was a tightrope walker sans a net for entertainment, I think.  As it turned out, the guy hailed from Xinjiang, the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (Xin for short) located in Northwest China.

Alongside the Bird’s Nest, an aquatic center was built for the swimming and other water sports competition.  Also known as the Water Cube, the unique and inspired design was based on the way soap bubbles come together.  Before it closed for renovations after the Olympics, it became a ballet theater to host Swan Lake.  Last August, it opened its doors once again to the public, this time transforming into a water park.  At the time of my visit, it was still closed for renovations.

 

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8 Responses to Bird’s Nest

  1. ewok1993 says:

    I was one of the billions who were glued and awed at the pageantry displayed by the Chinese during the opening and closing ceremonies. For all their faults, the Chinese sure know how to wow a worldwide audience, don’t they?

    Like

  2. Kay Davies says:

    We were in Beijing a month before the Olympics, as the last touches were being made to the Birds’ Nest and the Water Cube, and security was getting tighter all the time, so we only got to see them from afar. Then, like the rest of the world, we watched the Olympics on TV.
    Beautiful photos. Now I see, all over again, what we missed.
    — K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie’s Guide to Adventurous Travel

    Like

  3. Lesley says:

    How fortunate you were to be able to see this up close and personal! It is indeed a marvel.

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  4. J Bar says:

    Great photos. Thanks for sharing.

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  5. luna miranda says:

    the Bird’s Nest is an awesome and ingenious piece of architecture. how wonderful that you were able to see and walk on this iconic stadium!

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  6. Bram says:

    Beautiful My World posting

    Have a nice week,
    Greetings, Bram

    My Word Tuesday post

    Seen on My World Tuesday

    Like

  7. Titania says:

    Architecture today can be as awe inspiring as when the Eiffel tower was build. I took great interest in reading this, as I have not followed the Olympics. I never do, as I am not interested in sports spectacles. I do applause the Chinese people to have put on a great show.

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  8. seo submit says:

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