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In 2008 Beijing hosted the Summer Olympics and in 2022 it will organize the Winter Olympics. After four years in a row staying at the Intercontinental Beijing Beichen, which is located at the Olympic Park Beijing, it was time to make a stroll through the area. Join me on a walk through the Olympic Park of Beijing.
Olympic Park Beijing – Bird’s Nest
The most famous building of the Olympic Park Beijing is probably the Bird’s Nest. It served for both the opening and closing ceremony during the 2008 Summer Olympics and will also do so during the 2022 Winter Olympics. If you look from a distance you understand why it’s called the Bird’s Nest; it looks exactly as one.
The Beijing National Stadium or Bird’s Nest was designed by Herzog & de Meuron from Swiss and the Chinese architect Li Xinggang. You will see that the design is rather simplistic as it comes to hiding the structures that carry everything. The appearance is nothing more as the steel structures together forming the look of a bird’s nest, hence the name. It has seats for 80.000 – 91.000 depending if the temporarily chairs are used or not. For a small fee you can enter the stadium which is worth it as it will explain more on the building process and usage. Currently it is mainly a tourist attraction in Beijing with on some occasion an event. It was worth the visit for me, to see this outstanding example of modern architecture. If you visit at night you can see the Bird’s Nest being lit up by many different colors of light. I could witness this from my hotel room 🙂
Olympic Park Beijing – Water Cube
The Water Cube, or National Aquatics Center, makes a set together with the Bird’s Nest. A cube or square represents earth and the round shape of the stadium heaven. It was designed by an Australian architect firm together with Chinese partners. The complex is made of a steel frame. Its outside appearance is derived from the Weaire-Phelan geometry found in soap bubbles. This must represent the water. During the summer Olympics it was used for the water sports and during the winter Olympics it will be used for curling. After the Summer Olympics an aquatic park was added. I wanted to see the Olympic pool but unfortunately it was closed due to some event that would take place. It’s an interesting piece of architecture to explore at the Beijing Olympic Park.
Olympic Park Beijing – Others
The Olympic Park Beijing, or Olympic Green, further houses various other buildings. From a data center (Digital Beijing Building) which appearance looks like a computer chip and barcode to the newly build Olympic Park Observation tower. In the middle runs the Olympic Promenade where you can also see the Ling Long Pagoda which is used for TV broadcasts. At the end of the promenade is the Olympic Forest where it’s possible to have a nice walk. All together it’s an interesting complex and nice example of Chinese modern architecture.
Finally I had the time to explore the Olympic Park Beijing which I wanted to do for a long time. I visit Beijing and China quite often but this was one of the last parts to explore. It’s a nice area to spend half a day wandering around. I only walked for two hours due to drizzling weather. The architecture however was well worth it.
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COVID-19 (Corona virus) update for Olympic Park Beijing: Make sure to check IATA list of affected entry and transit restrictions for this country. Also check with your airline for options to re-book or re-route. The Corona virus will go away eventually for sure. Make sure before travelling if Olympic Park Beijing is a COVID-19 (Coronavirus) area and if restrictions apply before travelling.
Did you visit Olympic Park Beijing too or do you have questions? Please leave a comment at the bottom of the page. Love to hear from you!
Gallery Olympic Park Beijing
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