Kaba at the Olympic Games
The 29th Olympic Games will be held for the first time in China. Beijing stood up to its competitors Paris, Toronto, Osaka and Istanbul. For the Chinese Government, the Olympic Games are an unparalleled opportunity to present the country as a modern nation with an exploding economic growth. As evidence of this power, China has spared no efforts to build Beijing Olympic Village, as well as all venues, related infrastructures and facilities.
The "Bird's Nest"
The National Stadium of Beijing will be the main venue of the 2008 Olympic Games. With a seating capacity of 91,000, it will host the opening and closing ceremonies, track and field competitions and football finals.
Regarding design, the National Stadium is doubtless the masterpiece among the many projects specifically built for the Olympic Games. Swiss star architects Herzog & de Meuron won the tender with a spectacular stadium design, unofficially known as ‘Bird's Nest': its structural steel elements support each other and converge into a grid formation, recalling interlocking branches and twigs. Over four years construction work and 42,000 tons of steel were needed for the construction of Beijing's new landmark. Between 10,000 and 40,000 people - depending on the project stage - worked daily at the construction site.
Controlled entry into the venue
Security is one of the main concerns of Beijing Olympic organization committee. "Our efforts concerning security focus on two issues: prevention of terrorism and controlling the so-called inner ring, which means the access to the stadiums and arenas" explains Dazu Xue Yong, Project Manager of CITIC Internationals Contracting Inc., the company commissioned to build the Bird's Nest. "
A name checking system will compare and verify the personalised tickets at the entrance to the stadium, while a camera system will scan the crowd waiting to come in, comparing the scanned faces with a blacklist database," adds Yong. After successfully passing this check, visitors proceed to the physical access control, which is regulated at every entrance by means of tripod barriers made by Kaba Gallenschütz. The project involved the installation of 138 units. The German manufacturer stood up to its competitors due to several reasons: "Security and functionality were essential factors for the choice", explains Dazu Xue Yong, "...alongside with the capability of offering a reliable support and service. We are very satisfied with our choice of Kaba and the support they provided in all the stages of the project".
Further Olympic venues
Most of the 302 competitions in 28 different sports will be held at Beijing's Olympic Stadium. Further Olympic venues in Tianjin and Qinhuangdao have also been equipped with Kaba systems.
Tianjin, a 10 million city near Beijing, is one of the main industrial centres in China. The Olympic Stadium, known as ‘Water Drop' due to its particular shape, was inaugurated in March 2007. It hosted several matches of the FIFA women-world-cup. For the Olympic Games 2008 Tianjin will host five football matches.
The coastal city Qinhuangdao, situated in the Northern Province Hebei, is with 2 million inhabitants the smallest of the Olympic venues. The city's activities concentrate on tourism, manufacturing industry and its busy seaport. Its stadium was already opened 2004 and refurbished last year to meet the demands of the FIFA and the Beijing Organisation Committee.