>Beijing Olympics 2008, Part 2


In case you missed the point of the opening ceremonies, I take them to mean, “OK, we’ve had a bad couple of centuries, but now WE’RE BAaak!”.

The National Stadium, also known as the Bird’s Nest because of its shape as a tangle of beams, is the work of Pritzker Prize winning Swiss architects Herzog and deMeuron. It was designed especially for these opening ceremonies, as well as for track and field events, and a future life as a soccer stadium.

The New York Times has a super interactive graphic on Beijing, the new architecture in the city, and the growth of the city. There are special slide shows and audio commentaries by NYT architectural critic Nicolai Ouroussoff. I especially appreciate the way they explain the structure of the stadium with 24 piers supporting a network of trusses that frame the open roof. There’s also a segment on demolition and preservation of the hutongs, the traditional neighborhoods of Beijing.

Not everyone is on board with the flattery and cheers. David Brussat writes at the Providence Journal that some might call it the “Barbed Wire” stadium. He reminds us that China is still run by the Communist Party as a totalitarian state with an abysmal human rights record. But they put on such a great show…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s