Three large Demag crawlers from Mammoet helped build the new Beijing 2008 Olympics stadium, nicknamed the Birds’ Nest.

The stadium’s exterior consists of a complex arrangement of steel ribs, the gaps between some of which will be filled in with plastic film cushions. They enclose the stadium and a covered surrounding concourse for shops and restaurants. The top surface of the exterior will be entirely filled in with plastic cushions, though a planned sliding roof over the stadium interior has been scrapped. Nicknamed the “birds’ nest”, the $543m stadium was designed by Swiss architecture firm Herzog and de Meuron.

Mammoet at work on the Beijing stadium

Over the past two years, Mammoet’s cranes have been erecting structural steelwork in the structure. A Demag CC 4800 lifted 32 steel columns weighing 325t to 350t, and five 165t roof sections and a Demag CC 2800, in SWSL 60 x 36 configuration, lifted 115t roof sections. In addition, the cranes lifted 2,000t of supporting steelwork. A Demag CC 1800 was erected inside the stadium to lift supporting steelwork.

The birds’ nest from above

Mammoet was just one of many crane rental companies commissioned by the Chinese government to do the steel erection.