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Beijing National Stadium designers win award
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07:50, March 12, 2008

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The Beijing National Stadium by Herzog & De Meuron and Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition have been declared two of the most innovative and progressive international designs from the last 12 months.

The Design Museum in London made the announcement on Tuesday on design awards across seven major design categories.

"The architecture of the Beijing National Stadium defines the contemporary stadium in a way that has not been seen since the 1972 Olympics in Munich. It embodies the emergence of China as a modern state and crowns the achievements of the remarkable careers of Herzog and de Meuron," commented the judges.

The National Olympic Stadium, also known as the "Bird's Nest", is reflected in a partially dried-up pond in Beijing Nov. 27, 2007. The main stadium for next year's Beijing Olympic Games, the 400 million U.S. dollars "bird's nest" will open to the public for the first time in April to host a test event, a state newspaper said.

The Beijing National Stadium is the main stadium for the 2008 Olympic Games to be held in Beijing, China in August this year.

The new National Stadium is the most striking of a series of spectacular architectural projects designed for Beijing, said a Design Museum press release.

"The 100,000 seat structure represents the most innovative stadium design since the free-form tent structure used for the Munich Olympic stadium of 1972 and will certainly eclipse London's planned stadium for the 2012 Games. The apparently random steel structure, dubbed for obvious reasons the bird's nest, is an instantly recognizable landmark and a setting in which spectators will be made to feel part of the event," noted the museum.

Other winners include Meyra-Ortopedia's Mex-x wheelchair for kids, which trumps the Transport category, and One Laptop per child by Yves Bhar of Fuseproject, a ground-breaking program taking the Product category. Hussein Chalayan walks away with the Fashion category for Airborne Autumn/Winter 07 with Martino Gamper's 100 Chairs in 100 Days triumphant in the Furniture category.

All designs are part of the 100-strong shortlist at the first ever Brit Insurance Designs of the Year exhibition at the Design Museum until April 27, with the seven winners now vying for the overall win at the prestigious inaugural Brit Insurance Design Awards, hosted by Wayne Hemingway next week on March 18.

The expert panel of judges includes Rolf Fehlbaum, Lars Mller and Antonio Citterio who spent hours deliberating the final seven.

Deyan Sudjic, Director of the Design Museum said: "The judges certainly had a difficult job in narrowing down such a comprehensive shortlist to just one winner per category. Their final selection however, is a definitive celebration of some of the most internationally innovative designs from the past year."

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