The Beijing National Stadium , also known as the National Stadium, or the "Bird's Nest" for its architecture, is a stadium under construction on the Olympic Green in Beijing, China that is scheduled for completion in March, 2008. The stadium will host the main track and field competitions for the 2008 Summer Olympics, as well as the opening and closing ceremonies. It is located right next to the Beijing National Aquatics Centre.
In 2002, Government officials engaged architects worldwide in a design competition. Pritzker Prize-winning architects Herzog & de Meuron collaborated with ArupSport and China Architecture Design & Research Group to win the competition. Contemporary Chinese artist, Ai Weiwei, is the Artistic Consultant for design. The ground was broken on Christmas Eve December 2003, and construction started in March 2004, but was halted by the high construction cost in August 2004 and continued again. In January 2008, concerns about construction working conditions arose when it was revealed that at least 10 workers had died during the stadium's construction. Controversy also surrounded the alleged forced evictions of many residents so the construction could go ahead.
The stadium can seat as many as 91,000 spectators during the Olympics. The capacity will then be reduced to 80,000 after the Games. It has replaced the original intended venue of the Guangdong Olympic Stadium. The stadium is 330 metres long by 220 metres wide, and is 69.2 metres tall. The stadium uses 258,000 square metres of space and has a usable area of 204,000 square metres. It was built with 36 km of unwrapped steel, with a combined weight of 45,000 tonnes. The stadium has some 11,000 square metres of underground rooms with waterproof walls. The stadium will cost up to 3.5 billion yuan (≈423 million USD).
Upon completion, this stadium will boast a state of the art Solar PV system produced by Suntech Power.