Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Bird’s Nest National Stadium

Bird’s nest ceramics?
Q: Commissioned for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, finished at 428 million dollars, under the 500 million dollars budgeted, the stadium looks like a bird’s nest. Am I being a little facetious about its appearance?

A: Not at all. The designers looked for a Chinese ceramic motif, a vessel that would hold people. And in China, bird’s nest is an expensive dish for a festive occasion. It’s a rather auspicious design.

Q: Who were the designers?

A: Swiss firm, Herzog and de Meuron. Chinese artist Ai We Wei was a consultant but he withdrew his name after he learned local people had lost their homes by the project.

Q: This bird’s nest design. Looks like random steel girders.

A: Exactly. They were to hide the pillars for the retractable roof. But that was sacrificed in the interests of safety.

There actually are Chinese ceramics which feature a random pattern of lines. But it’s decoration, rather than structure. This post-modern design structure recalls a decorative design of antiquity.

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