Architecture (Lemond Brown)
When I began researching the Beijing National Stadium, I anticipated there would be a great deal of useful information given its worldwide attention and relatively new construction. Unfortunately the information wasn’t as readily available as I had hoped, most internet sources only presented basic statistical information. This building is so bold architecturally that I was actually interested in finding out it related to the other building systems. Initially I thought this stadium boasted an iconic design, and after finding out all of the technical innovations that went into it, I believe this is one of the most overall creative buildings I’ve ever seen. For example, the lattice steel structure, the concrete bowl sections used to withstand earth movement, the geothermal piping on the field, numerous innovations on a project of this magnitude make the Bird’s Nest very intriguing.
I learned that when building systems work together in more than one way, the building itself becomes more extraordinary. From what I understand, the design idea started from ceramics and evolved into a “bird’s nest”. The fact that they then took the bird’s nest concept and created an innovative steel structure out of it is amazing. The HVAC system then had to be customized to all of the elaborate angles of the structure. From top to bottom, this building marries design and purpose and I was very impressed.
HVAC (Sam Pomager)
Upon starting this project, I was very curious to see how much information we would be able to gather. As it is a recent building, with much acclaim, I anticipated a decent amount of material to be published, but I was surprised to see how little information there actually was. Finding any kind of drawings with detail was near impossible, and all we had to work with was a general floor plan without any walls or interior outlines.
When doing the analysis of the HVAC, the bulk of any of the calculations were speculation, and I am skeptical of their accuracy. Since I have done similar calculations before working for Drexel, I have seen what the estimated costs can be for electricity and other elements of a building, so I tried to do what I could to keep the costs within reason. By doing this analysis, I learned how valuable it is to have accurate drawings and documentation of building systems, as there is very little that can be done without them.
Structural (Monika Mickute)
When my group decided to analyze Beijing National Stadium, it the impression I had was that there would be an incredibly overwhelming amount of information available on the structural analysis. What I ran into was that there were virtually not construction document drawing available, not structural plans or sections. We did not account for the Chinese being so conservative and protective of its “property”. There was, however, a good amount of descriptions and an abundance of photographs. Based on the descriptions, I was able to create necessary drawings (drawings indicating the load patterns) using photo-shop and CAD software.
I thought it would be extremely complicated to analyze an unknown building, but I had learned that the difficult part is organizing available data into a sensible manner. Once this is accomplished, it is rather simple from there.
I was also impressed by how structural forms can appear random, but yet have a very strict path in which they transfer the loads and result in a sturdy design. This will certainly enhance my future designs.
Beijing National Stadium is a unique design in how each system interacts with each other. The nest like structural grid allows for natural ventilation, and the translucent roof panels allow for natural lighting. The form resists both vertical and lateral loads while making an eye please design which now is described as one of the most impressive architectural marvels. In this design, Form Follows Function.