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Games stadium redesign may save US$336m
Updated: 2004-08-24 07:21

China could expect savings of up to 1.6 billion yuan (S$336 million) with the redesign of the Beijing Olympics stadium for the 2008 Games, reported foreign agencies, citing China Newsweek as the source.

This photo displays a nest-like architecture scheme for the main stadium of the 2008 Olympics. [newsphoto.com.cn]

Work on the project was suspended earlier this month amid a nationwide drive to cut down on "white elephant" projects under ongoing central government efforts to prevent the economy from overheating.

The stadium's new design, which has been endorsed by experts, is expected to slash the construction bill from the original 3.89 billion yuan to 2.3 billion yuan, the China Newsweek reported.

Experts, however, believe costs for the Swiss-designed stadium could be scaled down further.

The original design of the stadium was to feature a latticework of girders which called for up to 136,000 tonnes of steel - four times the average for a conventional building.

A task force for the redesign plans to reduce the amount of steel needed to just 32,000 tonnes, mainly by scrapping the retractable roof and enlarging the size of the rooftop opening.

A report by China Times yesterday said the project's original design featured a retractable roof at the centre of the stadium's rooftop to shelter athletes and spectators.

Under the new design plan, only the spectator stand would be covered.

The deputy chief architect of the China Architecture Design and Research Group, Mr Li Xinggang, explained that the rooftop opening was designed to be small to facilitate the opening and closing of the retractable roof.

He stressed that the aesthetics of the stadium would not be affected by the redesign.

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