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Building resumes at Olympic centre
By Liu Li (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-12-28 00:43

Construction resumed yesterday on Beijing's Olympic centrepiece.

A file photo taken on Feburary 3 this year shows the construction site of the National Swimming Center. [newsphoto]
Work kicked off again on the National Stadium which resembles a bird nest in shape and will host the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2008 Olympic Games, the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) announced yesterday.

Track and field events will also be held there.

Construction of the stadium started in December 2003, but suspended in July after the vaulted roof of a new passenger terminal at Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport collapsed in May, killing four.

The collapse led some domestic experts to express worries over the safety of the original design of the National Stadium, a steel construction designed by Swiss architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron.

According to an official press release by BOCOG yesterday, the design layout of the National Stadium has been optimized to integrate more safety, quality, function, time and cost factors into the construction.

The revamp of the design was completed last month and basically maintains the "bird's nest" design although a roof that could be opened or closed has been eliminated, the release says.

As a result, the amount of steel to be used in the venue was reduced by 22 per cent.

Yesterday's release by BOCOG emphasized after layout optimization, the National Stadium will also meet competition requirements.

Furthermore, safety will be better ensured through the improved design, the release said.

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