Capital Architecture




October 2009 • Canon 40D camera

On a very cold, grey day, we ventured out into the capital city of Beijing to see some architectural buildings. In the morning we had visited the Niujie Mosque and after we made our way to the Olympic village and then visited several other buildings.

It was our last day in Beijing, and so we really did not see much of the city of Beijing (excluding The Forbidden City). Maybe one day we will get another opportunity to come back. For now, below are some photos of that day.

Birds Nest 鸟巢

1 National Stadium S Rd, Chaoyang Qu

The Beijing National Stadium 国家体育场 was designed by the Swiss architecture firm Herzorg & de Meuron for the 2008 Summer Olympics. Affectionately known as the Birds Nest, the design was inspired by Chinese ceramics. Famous Chinese artist Ai Weiwei served as the artistic consultant on the project.

Construction started in December 2003 and was officially opened at the Olympic ceremony on 28th June 2008. It was an impressive building to visit. The weaving steel facade that wrapped around the stadium was very striking and demanded your attention.

Water Cube 水立方

11 Tianchen E Rd, Chaoyang Qu

The Beijing National Aquatics Center 北京国家游泳中心 is located alongside the Birds Nest in the Olympic village. It is also known as the Water cube and was designed by a consortium made up of PTW Architects, Arup, CSCEC and CCDI. Used for swimming competitions in the 2008 summer Olympics, construction started in 2003 and completed in January 2008.

The square shaped building with ‘bubbles’ on the outside didn't impressive me to be honest, especially after seeing the Birds Nest.

CCTV Headquarters

32 E 3rd Ring Rd Middle, GuoMao, Chaoyang Qu

This unusual–shaped building first caught my eye on the internet as concept designs when it was first proposed to be built by Dutch architectural firm OMA. The building serves as the headquarters for China Central Television (CCTV). When we decided to visit China, it was always in my mind to try and come visit the building. I was unaware that the building had still not been completed when we visited. There was still a lot of construction going on.

Up close in person, it was extraordinary to see such a large, unique building that looks like a continuous bent tube. I'm amazed by the engineering of such a building that seems to defy gravity! It is definitely one of, if not, the most wondrous modern architectural building I have seen in my life.
UPDATE 2014: Construction on the building was completed in 2012.

Random buildings

Some random building below that caught our eyes as we wondered the streets of Beijing. I imagine coming back here in 20 years time, Beijing would have a nice mixture of ancient, traditional buildings with modern, contemporary ones.

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