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所有奥运场地均已准备就绪

2008-07-02 09:56

  Saturday's announcement that the National Stadium has become fully functional marked the completion of all the Beijing Olympic Games' 37 venues.

  Nicknamed the "Bird's Nest" because of its shape, the venue covers 258,000 sq m of the Olympic Green in the northern part of the capital.

  In addition to hosting football and other sports events, it would be the site of the Games' opening and closing ceremonies.

  "We hope we can provide better services for the Olympic Games with better facilities," National Stadium CEO Li Aiqing said at a ceremony celebrating the venue's completion on Saturday.

  Swiss firm Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, and China Architecture Design & Research Institute, won the international design competition in 2003, and construction began at the end of that year.

  It has since become a Beijing icon, attracting photo-snapping crowds every day.

  The design's complexity challenged builders, but they were proud of overcoming all trials.

  "The most outstanding feature of the stadium is its beam structure," chief engineer Li Jiulin said. "The architects imagined several intertwining lines, which we translated into reality with steel and concrete."

  Time magazine earlier this year listed the building - the largest steel structure in the world - atop its "100 Most Influential Designs".

  Prior to its official completion, the 91,000-seat venue underwent two test events in April and May.

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