China’s National Stadium – known as the Bird’s Nest due to its entanglement of steel that forms its roof – has been opened for the public, with media invited to take the first look inside.

The stadium, which will host the Olympics in August this year, will be home of the Paralympics as well as football and other sporting and entertainment events.

Designed by Herzog & De Meuron Architekten, along with Arup and the China Architecture Design & Research Group, the stadium was completed 14 weeks behind a reset schedule (it was originally earmarked for completion at the end of 2007) at CNY3.5bn.

Some cosmetic work, such as track work, is still taking place and some of the seating is still to be installed but according to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald, visitors who saw inside the stadium had positive things to say.

Construction on the stadium started in December 2003.

By Penny Jones