Top 5 Architecture wonders in beijing

Update:27 Jul 2008

Beijing Int'l Airport Terminal 3

Construction of Terminal 3 started on March 28, 2004 and was opened on February 29, 2008, becoming fully operational on March 26, 2008, when Air China, Shanghai Airlines, other Star Alliance members, and other international airlines moved in.

The iconic terminal building is intended to be one of the most modern and passenger friendly super-hub facilities in the world, with clear and intuitive layouts, minimal changes of level, and fast transfer times.

It was designed by a consortium of NACO, Netherlands Airport Consultants B.V., UK Architect Foster and Partners and ARUP. The budget of the expansion is US$3.5 billion.

Far grander in size and scale than the existing terminals, it is the largest airport terminal building complex built in a single phase with 986,000 sq. meters in total floor area. It features a main passenger terminal (Terminal 3C), two satellite concourses (Terminal 3D and Terminal 3E) and five floors above ground and two underground.

The addition of Terminal 3 will provide what is already China's busiest airport with the extra capacity to support the Games, and allow it to service up to 90 million passengers annually by 2012.

Terminal 3 will also be one of the world's more environmentally sustainable airport buildings, and has been designed to accommodate Beijing's cold winters, hot summers, short autumn and spring seasons. The terminal roof incorporates south-east orientated skylights which enable the sun to warm the building on winter mornings, and make the most of available daylight during normal operational times. This gives dramatic reductions in the amount of energy needed for both heating and cooling.

The National Grand Theater

The National Grand Theatre of China in Beijing by architect Paul Andreu is one of the most talked-about architectural projects for years, both because of Andreu's audacious and innovative design, and for the grand scope of the project itself; the Theatre will be Beijing's foremost cultural center, situated in the heart of the capital, symbolizing all that is exciting about the new China. It will be, in the architect's words: "A new district of spectacles and dreams open to one and all."

The Theatre is a curved building emerges like an island at the center of a lake. The titanium shell is in the shape of a super ellipsoid. The building houses three performance auditoria - a 2,416-seat opera house; a 2,017-seat concert hall and a 1,040-seat theatre - as well as art and exhibition spaces open to a wide public and integrated into the life of the city.

Travel tips:

Address: No.2 West Chang'an Avenue, Xicheng District;
Transportation: Bus No.1, 45, 52, 22, 10 or take Subway
Tel: 010-66550000

Water Cube

The National Aquatics Center, a major venue for the 2008 Olympic Games, also called the "Water Cube", was completed on the morning of January 28, 2008.

The "water cube" comprises over 100,000sqm of ETFE foils, making it the single largest, most complicated and most comprehensive ETFE structure in the world to date. The venue will be used for swimming, diving, and water polo and synchronized swimming competitions for the 2008 Olympic Games.

Travel Tips:

Address: Tianchendong Road, Chaoyang District;
Transportation: Take Bus No. yuntong113, 386, 407, 656, 737, 740, 753, 804, 827, 939, 944 or 983 and get off at Beichenqiaoxi Stop;

Bird's Nest

The National Stadium, as the main track and field stadium for the 2008 Summer Olympics, is dubbed the "bird's nest" because of its innovative grid formation.

The twig-like structural elements and the bowl-shaped roof are the masterpiece of the project, yet they pose great challenges for technicians and workers to make the building stand on its own feet.

The stadium can seat as many as 91,000 spectators during the Olympics. It is located right next to the Beijing National Aquatics Center.

In 2002, Government officials engaged architects worldwide in a design competition. Pritzker Prize-winning architects Herzog & de Meuron collaborated with ArupSport and China Architecture Design & Research Group to win the competition. Contemporary Chinese artist, Ai Weiwei, is the Artistic Consultant for design.

The ground was broken on Christmas Eve December 2003, and construction started in March 2004.

It was built with 36 km of unwrapped steel, with a combined weight of 45,000 tonnes. The stadium has some 11,000 square metres of underground rooms with waterproof walls.

Travel Tips:

Address: No. 1 National Stadium South Road, Chaoyang District;
Transportation: Take Bus No. 386, 407, 656, 737, 740, 753, 804, 827, 939, 944, 983 or Yuntong 113 and get off at Beichenqiaoxi Stop or take 510, 839 to National Stadium.

New CCTV Tower

The new home of China Central Television (CCTV) is located at a busy commercial area near the World Trade Centre in Beijing's Central Business District (CBD) and will cover an area of 187,000 square meters.

The two huge inverted L-shaped towers attract people's eyes miles away. There will be 10,000 staffs who work in this new tower, and the working area as designed will be 550,000 square meters. Also, the tower will be operating 24 hours a day.

Travel tips:

Address: Beijing's Central Business District (CBD), Chaoyang District.
Transportation: Take Subway Line 1 to Guomao Station, then take Bus No. 402, 405, 107, 421.

From the Editor 

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