Beijing National Stadium (simplified Chinese: 北京国家体育场; traditional Chinese: 北京國家體育場; pinyin: Běijīng Guójiā Tǐyùchǎng), also known as the National Stadium (国家体育场), or colloquially as the Bird's Nest (鸟巢), is a stadium in Beijing, China. The stadium was designed for use throughout the 2008 Summer Olympics and Paralympics.
Located in the Olympic Green, the $423 million stadium is the world's largest steel structure. The design was awarded to a submission from the Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron in April 2003, after a bidding process that included 13 final submissions. The design, which originated from the study of Chinese ceramics, implemented steel beams in order to hide supports for the retractable roof; giving the stadium the appearance of a "Bird's nest".
Ai Weiwei, the artistic consultant, played a critical role in pushing the design to have unique Chinese characteristics. The retractable roof was later removed from the design after inspiring the stadium's most recognizable aspect. Ground was broken in December 2003 and the stadium officially opened in June 2008. A shopping mall and a hotel are planned to be constructed to increase use of the stadium, which has had trouble attracting events, football and otherwise, after the Olympics.