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BEIJING
China’s new revolution
Amanda Ross + Robert Lemermeyer + EnRoute Magazine, September 10, 2007
Beijing Capital Airport_Foster & Partner_Arup
Beijing Capital Airport_Foster & Partner_Arup
 
Welcome to the gateway of Beijing’s future, a vision that com­bines international expertise (Britain’s Lord Norman Foster, the architect) and homegrown flavour (a dragon-shaped design and red and yellow colour scheme) with cutting-edge futurism. Once it’s operating pre-2008 Olympics, the airport will not only be the world’s largest, handling 60 million passengers a year, but one of the globe’s most sustainable, with southeast-facing skylights maximizing morning heat and design features that lower energy consumption and carbon emissions.

At the moment, my husband and I are mired in Beijing’s present, a scenario in which epic gridlocked traffic features prominently. An explosive economy and 15 million people starved for consumer goods have given rise to roads teeming with shiny new cars, most of them on the way to shopping centres. The delay gives me time to take stock of the army of cranes cramming the skyline and buildings mushrooming roadside. China’s ravenous construction appetite accounts for 56 percent of the world’s concrete production and 36 percent of its steel (sending our basement reno costs into the stratosphere). An amazing 300 new buildings are slated for or are under construction in the new downtown.


Imperial City_Pekin
Imperial City_Pekin
 
Digital Building_Beijing
Digital Building_Beijing
 
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