The surreal "Water Cube", a.k.a. the National Aquatics Center, is
covered with sheets of translucent plastic bubbles, which invoke images of a
building constructed entirely from water. The bubbles also transmit light and
absorb heat, cutting energy usage. The Center is the world's largest
polymer-clad building, and will be one of the primary venues during the
The "Bird Nest" is the friendly name for Beijing National Stadium,
a 91,000-seat venue with an eye-popping space age design that contains 36
kilometers of unwrapped steel supports. Built for $430M, the stadium will also
be one of the Olympics’ primary venues. It is claimed that as many as 10
people died during the construction of the Stadium.
The hypermodern National Center for the Performing Arts, a gigantic $400
million titanium-and-glass flying saucer, floats like a pearl on its
surrounding pool of water. To complete the image, an underwater tunnel provides
entry. The Center's lush interior is said to house the most technologically
advanced acoustics and mechanical wizardry of any concert hall in the world.
The water enclosing the building also acts as thermal mass, to mediate the
There's the China Central TV (CCTV) Headquarters, a massive Escher-like
structure that strains the boundaries of what it means to be called a
skyscraper. The building's shape is so complex, that computational tools to
validate its design didn't exist a decade ago. CCTV Tower's 4.1 million square
feet of floor space makes it the second largest office building in the world,
after the Pentagon. The design, which includes a massive unsupported
segment, will never be repeated, according to some architectural experts.
Greenpix, a multistory video display wall, is being called a "zero
energy video art installation". Built on the wall of a large seafood
restaurant, the solar-powered installation will display specially-commissioned
videos by renowned artists.
Finally, Beijing has also completed an addition onto its airport: Terminal
Three. The two-mile long structure is not only the world's largest airport terminal;
it's one of the world's largest enclosed spaces. Built at a cost of $3.5
billion, it has over 100 gates, and covers some 9 million square feet spread
over five above-ground and two underground floors. The roof of the terminal is
punctuated by raised triangular skylights, meant to evoke the scales of a Chinese
Beijing is also constructing the world's largest Ferris wheel, in Chaoyang
quote: With a war on we should be able to recover quickly.
quote: Example bullets, they are not made in the USA. Imagine our soldiers are using equipment built in China. Guns, Tanks, bullets, almost everything is made somewhere other then the USA.