Bird’s Nest – Herzog & De Meuron in China

Birds Nest - Herzog & De Meuron in China

Bird’s Nest – Herzog & De Meuron in China

  “The Bird’s Nest” – this is just called the National Stadium in Beijing because of its emerging optics, which will be completed in time for the opening of the Olympic Games. Responsible for the design and implementation are the two Swiss Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron are among the most internationally renowned architects and experts on the scene with spectacular buildings like the Tate Modern and the Allianz Arena in Munich will be familiar. Christoph Schaub and Michael Schindhelm have accompanied the two architects on their way to China and show the building, such as Herzog and de Meuron are working. For architecture fans, this should be a film worth seeing, since this is not an inventory of already built projects, but mainly work in progress “- with all its difficulties.

Is for the two architects from Basel perhaps the most important building their careers, as Jacques Herzog confesses. And one of the most complex and most impressive building projects of our time, it is also: 320 meters long and 60 feet high measured the stadium, the shell is composed of a bizarre tangle of steel girders, which are exempt, at first sight actually like the branches of a giant bird’s nest. To the Chinese, this is a happy coincidence, because it symbolizes a bird’s nest for shelter, protection, homeland – and that is for a stadium in the capital of this vast country ideal associations and metaphors.

Since 2002, when there was the architecture competition to design the main sports venue for the 2008 Olympic Games, are Herzog and De Meuron in China on the road to collect impressions and try to empathize with the foreign culture. After the failure of major projects in Moscow and Dubai, they know that it comes without a high degree of understanding of the thinking and feeling, not the other side. And even more: In their work, which is described themselves as contextually, it is about seizing elements of life world, the traditions and formal language of China, and to incorporate into the building. A lengthy process in which the architects in addition to the official Chinese supervisors and other officials who oversee the construction work, even on the help of the renowned resort and the latest from the Documenta 12 in Germany as well-known artist Ai Weiwei.

New were also the experience needed to make the two architects in their daily work together. Since the two celebrated stars on the international scene have been happy to overlook at times festive occasions and had to learn so that in the communist apparatus of the architect is just another cog in the big machine in which the individual is hardly anything, but the collective is everything.

Similar difficulties were also in the genesis of the film master, who attended the nest next to yet another construction of Herzog and De Meuron in China are planning to build the parallel giant stadium with 100,000 spectators in the two Basel Jinhua, four hours drive south of Shanghai, an entire neighborhood. Overall, the shooting lasted for four years, eight times the filmmakers had to travel to China to learn anew every time there found on such changes in the situation – not to mention the meticulous preliminary designs, which were largely attributable to the strict rules and huge restrictions by the Chinese authorities. Was also added that the filmmakers do not even the Chinese language were powerful and the timing of Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, was pretty tight. But despite all the difficulties, the film was finished in time – in contrast to the Bird’s Nest, that even though we receive at all stages of the emergence, but never finished on the face. However, there is no doubt that the National Stadium will be ready in time for the opening ceremonies in the summer. And if you have seen this film, we do not know what to admire more – the bold architecture of the building or the fact that all cultural and ideological differences, this work can not prevent its completion.

(Joachim short)

Title: Bird’s Nest – Herzog & De Meuron) in China Country of production: Switzerland (# Production year: 2008 Length: Min 88 ( ) of material: Salzgeber

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