February 08, 2010

Modern Marvels

I am not the only impressive addition to urban Beijing in recent times, as the city strives to reinvent itself by blending its ancient charm with modern marvels. My office building is located in the heart of the central business district. Right beside it is the third phase of the China World Trade Center. Still under construction, it is the tallest building in Beijing. The monolith stands out awkwardly in a cityscape where skyscrapers are a relatively new addition.

Along with the Bird's Nest, the Water Cube, the National Center for the Performing Arts, and the WTC, the CCTV headquarters completes a quintet of present day architectural triumphs. Nicknamed 'big underpants' by the locals, the oddly shaped building is comprised of two structures which were constructed separately from the ground up and then connected at the top to form a unified structure. The building is an eyesore to some and a breath of fresh air to others. Still unoccupied by office workers, the hulking edifice is boarded up while questions about its future remain unanswered.


“The loftier the building, the deeper must the foundation be laid.” - Thomas Kempis