A shortlist of 13 design institutions competing to build Beijing's multi-million dollar Olympic stadium have been named.
Each of the tenders who made it through the first round take home US$50,000 for their three-month architectural efforts. While the three who make the final will each get a further US$50,000, whatever the outcome.
The 13 shortlisted designs -- chosen from a total of 44 -- will go on display at the Beijing International Convention Center from March 26 to 31 to solicit public opinion and suggestions, announced the Beijing Urban Planning Commission.
The evaluation panel consisting of 13 members -- six Chinese and seven from overseas -- include architects, engineers, Olympic experts and government officials. They will select the three top designs and make the final decision, said Li Yidong, an official with the commission in charge of the design tender.
As the main arena for the 2008 Olympic Games, the National Stadium will host the grand opening and closing ceremonies as well as track and field events. In the years that follow, it will be the venue of major sports and cultural activities.
The Beijing State-owned Assets Management Co Ltd, the official operator of the stadium, said eight of the candidates were foreign companies or consortia from countries and regions including Australia, Japan, the United States, two domestic and three joint ventures.
The eventual winner will draw up more detailed architectural plans, with construction work set to begin on December 24, said Wang Yuxi, general manager of the company responsible for the mammoth project.
Located in the south of the Olympic Green, the heart of the 2008 Games, the National Stadium will cover a total floor area of 145,000 square meters, with 80,000 permanent and 20,000 temporary ones.
In a separate development, construction of the National Swimming Center will begin on December 12, making it the first sports venue of the Olympic building program to get underway.
Ten design institutions are jockeying for position in the race to win the tender for the swimming center after a pre-qualifying round. They must submit their detailed designs by the June 18, deadline.
(China Daily March 21, 2003)