Modern Steel Construction » Steel in the News » Steel Shots: Inside “The Bird’s Nest”

Steel in the News

Back to all posts

Steel Shots: Inside “The Bird’s Nest”
Posted by Tasha Weiss on September 28, 2012 at 1:45 PM.


An inside view of the 2008 Olympic Stadium designed by artist Weiwei Ai. The stadium is commonly known as “The Bird’s Nest” and is constructed with massive steel columns bended and arranged in an absolute random pattern. In this picture, massive steel columns seem to fall out of the sky straight into the ground, raying in a random order. Standing in between them is like being in a natural crystals cave, having amazing spatial experience. The three people in the background provide a perspective of the size of these steel columns. Photo and description by Xiaolong Li.


The winning photo in AISC’s 2012 SteelDay Student Photo Contest was taken by Xiaolong Li, a civil engineering and economics student at Bucknell University. Li captured an inside view of the National Stadium (also known as “The Bird’s Nest”) in Beijing, China, which was designed for use throughout the 2008 Summer Olympics and Paralympics.


For more information about the project and additional photos of the stadium, visit Arup’s website (the structural engineer for the project) at (direct link:


You can also view the photo entries that received Honorable Mentions in the contest by visiting We’ll be featuring them as Steel Shots on the MSC website throughout the fall.


We want to wish everybody a Happy SteelDay! About 170 events are taking place throughout the country to celebrate the structural steel industry. Whether you partake in a facility tour, sit in on a BIM seminar or attend a networking event, we hope you enjoy this once-a-year opportunity to learn about the U.S. structural steel industry from the experts — and have fun!


(Also, come back on Monday morning at 10 a.m. CST for our September Steel Structure Trivia challenge!)

Bookmark and Share