Number 8: Olympic Games Open in Beijing, Surrounded by Fascinating
Millions of people will turn their televisions on tonight to watch
the opening ceremonies for the summer Olympic games in Beijing.
Beijing, like so many past Olympic host cities before, has been
busy preparing for the tremendous number of people-Olympians, volunteers,
visitors, journalists and so many others--traveling to take in the
|The new National Indoor Stadium features a
19,000-square-meter glass curtainwall, with laminated, low-E
glass supplied by Shanghai Yaohua Pilkington Glass Co. Ltd.
Photo courtesy of BOCOG.
Since Beijing won the bid to host the 2008 Summer Games, the city
has gone through a massive transformation. Thirty venues and 44
training centers were constructed; new subway lines and express
bus routes have been added; polluting factories were removed; and
green spaces for the public have been increased. And that's not
all--some of these construction projects also feature intriguing
Take, for instance, the National Indoor Stadium. Built specifically
for the games, the stadium features a 19,000-square-meter glass
curtainwall. Laminated, low-E glass supplied by Shanghai Yaohua
Pilkington Glass Co. Ltd. forms, in parts, the point-support curtainwall.
Shenzhen Sanxin Special Glass Technology Co. Ltd. installed the
glass. Behind the curtainwall lies a solar photovoltaic system that
uses 1,124 solar panels, each measuring 120 by 50 cm. The solar
panels are able to produce 100 kilowatts of energy per day. Able
to seat 18,000 people, the stadium was designed to resemble an unfurled
traditional Chinese folding fan. The Chinese say that a folding
fan holds a deep level of cultural detail.
Also new to Beijing's appearance is the China Central Television
(CCTV) building, which has been described as looking like "two
drunken high-rise towers leaning over and holding each other up
at the shoulders." Designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas
and German architect Ole Scheeren, the tower features 49 stories
and was made with 10,000+ tons of steel. In addition, huge glass
panels were built into the floor of the cantilevered cross section
of the building.
Another recent structure that will likely become an icon of this
year's games is the egg-shaped National Center for the Performing
Arts (NCPA) (click
here to read more). Described as a "shimmering icon of
modern architecture," the center is made of titanium and glass
is shaped like a half-sphere.
The Olympic games are certainly no stranger to glass. Many past
host cities and venues have also seen their sharing of unique construction.
Many in the glass industry will remember the 2002 winter games in
Salt Lake City and the Olympic cauldron, which held the flame during
the games, was constructed of the FireLite product from Technical
Glass Products. Interlayers were provided by Solutia Inc. and fabricated
by Oldcastle Glass.
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