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Old June 27th, 2012, 01:08 PM   #421
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Phoenix International Media Center/Phoenix TV Beijing New Headquarters Updates

From Achdaily.com



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Old June 28th, 2012, 06:18 PM   #422
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An image of rigour and elegance represents France on Chinese soil

The architectural program for the French Embassy in Beijing was complex due to the building’s multi-functional nature and stringent security requirements. It called for the construction of the diplomatic residence, Chancellery and all diplomatic services, including the Consulate, on one and the same site. The key challenge of the project was to achieve coherency in a building that requires multiple and clearly distinct entryways; the embassy had to serve as both workplace and reception venue.

The architectural concept consisted of making all parts of the complex independent while connecting them underground. The end result provides a sharp contrast between exterior, where a mineral forecourt provides a transition to the street, and interior, constructed around a garden. The building, located in a new diplomatic neighbourhood between Beijing’s third and fourth beltways, is on a corner with its main façade rising up to the west and a second façade overlooking the boulevard to the south.

Thanks to the autonomous nature of Alain Sarfati’s architecture, the structure stands as an emblem of France while blending in harmoniously with the cityscape. The most important determining factor in the project was climate: a Beijing sky heavy with pollution, icy winds from the north that are often sand-laden, cold winters and very hot and humid summers. That is why a bioclimatic approach was adopted and used throughout the entire project. Respect for the environment governed the choice of building materials and their local provenance, mainly stone, wood and rubber.

Particular attention was paid to all woodwork and windows to ensure optimal airtightness and efficient solar protection. Orientation also came into play: the residence faces southward, allowing light to stream in during the winter months while in summer, sunshades and a gallery with silk-screening on its upper register provide a welcome respite from the sun. The northern façade of the building, draped in a silk-screened glass veil, is naturally ventilated in summer while in winter the upper and lower vents can be closed to offer insulation.

From south to west, the adjustable window shades provide an efficient screen from the sun during the hottest hours of the day. The French Embassy in Beijing brings together the wisdom of Feng Shui and the most sophisticated modern building techniques, placing architecture at the crossroads between East and West. The project opens up a new architectural perspective in synch with the local milieu, where culture and nature meet.

http://www.worldarchitecturenews.com











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Old July 4th, 2012, 05:14 AM   #423
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New Beijing airport pre-feasibility study submitted to the NDRC
(WCARN.com, July 3)

Quote:
News from the Party Congress of Beijing underway reported that, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) is currently submitting the "New Beijing Airport Construction Pre-Feasibility Study Report" to the National Development and Reform Committee (NDRC) for approval. It is learned that the construction of the new Beijing airport will be completed in the next five years.

At the 11th Party Congress of Beijing, Zhang Gong, the party secretary and director of Beijing Municipal Commission of Development and Reform revealed that, the new Beijing airport will be positioned as an "integrated hub" airport.



"Beijing is currently working on all the preparations", said Zhang. Related work of the new Beijing airport has been expressed sufficiently in Liu Qi's report during the Party Congress.


It is reported that the construction of the new Beijing airport is to implement the requirements of the nation's 12th Five-Year Plan. The new airport will provide substantial potentials to accelerate the development of the southern Beijing area.



Not only will it considerably boost the capital's overall future development, but also exert positive influences to the urban system, spatial distribution, industrial development and infrastructure construction of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region.


Zhang said that the new Beijing airport & new air city project has received the highest attention from the State Council, the General Staff of the People's Liberation Army, CAAC, Beijing Municipal Government and the precinct government of the project - Hebei Province.


Besides the preparation for petition, intensive work has been done including plan promotion, infrastructure construction, as well as energy & road establishment in the project area.


It is also learnt that an evaluation meeting was held from Apr. 23 to Apr. 25 regarding the "New Beijing Airport Construction Pre-Feasibility Study Report" submitted to NDRC. The meeting concluded that the report mostly meets the design depth requirements.



In addition, the meeting gave prospects of the new airport's market positioning and provided suggestions to a number of aspects including the area transportation communication, external supporting facility establishment and airspace utilization & management.


The new Beijing airport, which is commonly known as the second capital airport, will be located in Yufa Town, Daxing Distrct, south of Beijing. The location is at the border of Nangezhuang Daxing District and Baijiawu, Guangyang District, Langfang, Hebei Province. The airport will sit in an area east of Beijing-Kowloon Railway, north of Yongding River, west of Langzhuo Highway & Jingtai Highway and south of Dali Road (Daxing Village - Lixian Town).The total investment is estimated to be 80.3 billion yuan.


According to the preliminary plan, the new Beijing airport is positioned as a major integrated hub airport, coupled with the Beijing Capital Airport to form the dual-airport system in Beijing.



A total area of 40 square kilometers are planned for the first phase of the airport construction which contains four runways, a 700,000 square meters terminal area and 220 gate positions. The airport will handle 650,000 flights annually with a total passenger turnover volume of 45 million.
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Old July 6th, 2012, 12:55 PM   #424
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TVCC behind the CCTV is still under repairing

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Behind the CCTV Tower by pamhule, on Flickr
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I love Beijing ChaoyangMen, Rising Skyscrapers beyond it!


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Old July 7th, 2012, 12:25 AM   #425
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Green features are adopted in creating a sustainable mixed-use development

Parkview Green is a LEED®-CS Platinum certified mixed-use development with grade-A office space, a six-star hotel and retail facilities. It is four buildings encased in a glass and ETFE (ethylene tetrafluoroethylene) envelop that creates an easily controlled microclimate which keeps energy bills at a minimum over the projects lifecycle.

The project is designed by Hong Kong-based architects Integrated Design Associates, while Arup provides a full multidisciplinary service for the project including structural, MEP, façade, fire, building physics, geotechnical and traffic engineering.

Key passive and active green features adopted in this development include an environmental envelop, earth pre-cooling system introducing air underground before entering the interior, chilled ceiling radiant cooling, and under-floor air conditioning. These well-orchestrated passive and active systems significantly reduce cooling and heating energy.

Hybrid ventilation allows natural ventilation and free cooling modes to be operated when outdoor condition is desirable. This hybrid system contributes to 60% energy saving in summer when compared to a conventional office air conditioning system. In winter the highly insulated collective façades can offer up to 80% energy saving over the conventional office designs.

Grey and storm water recycling system are being used for water conservation purpose. Rainwater collected from roof and paved areas is recycled and pre-filtrated for irrigation in landscaping area. Waste water from sinks, showers and washing faucets is also treated for
flushing and landscape irrigation.

Material selection is based on sustainability consideration, therefore, building materials with high recycled content are adopted, including recycled materials from building demolitions for back-filling of site, substantial use of steel work and ETFE as recyclable materials, and using softwoods for construcion purposes. Native plants and trees are selected for landscape so that irrigation and landscape management can be reduced.

Source: www.worldarchitecturenews.com











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Old July 7th, 2012, 12:30 AM   #426
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Kokaistudios designs a University library as part of a new public square in Beijing

Kokaistudios has been announced as the winner of the competition for the new Tsinghua University Law Library located in Beijing, China. The proposal stands out amount the final 5 competing firms including ECUC, RTKL, Zaha Hadid Architects and Zhubo Design Group.

The project proposes a reflection on the role of void in structuring functions and programs within the building, defining at the same time its relations with the surrounding. Circulation and public spaces, both indoor and outdoor, are interlocked in a innovative sequence of ‘places', a coherent continuum of solids and voids directly inspired to the traditional urban carpet of the Courtyard Houses, characteristic of Beijing.

Within the proposed site, three new multifunctional buildings are located around a public square; the centre of a system of new sunken gardens and outdoor pedestrian connections providing access to the buildings' public functions located in the basement and Ground Floor.

Inside the building, the functional program is structured in three major functional areas, vertically organised according to their increasing requirement from privacy: classrooms and students' facilities are located in the lower floors, the Library at the centre, while Teachers laboratories and Research Institute occupy the three top floors, opened around the roof garden.

This inner system of voids and public spaces is expressed as a seamless and continuous sequence of openings carved in the stone modular façade of the building.

Source: www.worldarchitecturenews.com











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Old July 7th, 2012, 06:53 AM   #427
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Omg!!! hello I'm from Dallas,TX I'm very impressed about how China is growing economically, is amazing, i think china is now an example that everything is possible =D as well the architecture is just omg amazing high skyscrapers !! Now china is the worlds powerful economy
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Old July 7th, 2012, 10:40 AM   #428
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I find myself really hating Asian (especially Chinese) architecture, because it's like they lack any sense of humility, restraint, or sense of home. Every project is just so gaudy and over-the-top. It's like no one cares that people have to live in these places. Architects and developers are just using China as a testing ground for all their craziest design ideas. They don't care about China. They don't care about Beijing. These buildings all SUCK. They look like crap. Why can't they build something relatively normal for once?
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Old July 10th, 2012, 05:26 AM   #429
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Quote:
Originally Posted by little universe View Post
Phoenix International Media Center/Phoenix TV Beijing New Headquarters Updates

From Achdaily.com



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Seems that Phoenix TV (Ifeng) wants to have a greater slice of the Mainland Chinese TV market with the new broadcast center in Beijing...
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Old July 10th, 2012, 05:28 AM   #430
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elea9 View Post
Omg!!! hello I'm from Dallas,TX I'm very impressed about how China is growing economically, is amazing, i think china is now an example that everything is possible =D as well the architecture is just omg amazing high skyscrapers !! Now china is the worlds powerful economy
Many of the architects/design firms involved in various skyscraper/supertall/highrise projects are non-Chinese firms...

In recent years, a growing number of homegrown design firms/architects are involved in design...
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Old July 10th, 2012, 11:44 AM   #431
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pls try not to quote my post on the same page! Thanks!

From achdaily.com







Your beloved Phoenix International Media Center was Designed by a Chinese State-owned BIAD-UFO (Beijing Institue of Architetural Design-Un-Forbidden Office) /北京市建筑设计院方案创作工作室!!!

You are right about the Emerging Talented Chinese Architects these days. The International Architectural Design Community had already acknowledged the great achievments of China's homegrown architects and honoured Hangzhou-based Architect/Professor Wang Shu/王澍 as this year's Pritzker Architecture Prize winnner !!!
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我爱北京朝阳门,朝阳门外高楼起!

I love Beijing TiananMen, Rising Sun upon it.
I love Beijing ChaoyangMen, Rising Skyscrapers beyond it!


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Old July 13th, 2012, 06:28 PM   #432
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Beijing sees new high-price land plot auctioned

BEIJING, July 10 (Xinhua) -- Beijing on Tuesday saw a new high-price land plot auctioned at a price of 2.63 billion yuan (about 413.17 million U.S. dollars).

Beijing Hehuahengrui Real Estate Co.Ltd. won the auction on the Wanliu residential land plot in Beijing's Haidian district, said the Beijing Land Reserve Center, a government body in charge of public land management.

The total area of the Wanliu residential land plot is 38,869 square meters.

The company said it will build new residential buildings for residents who previously lived in the area.

Major Chinese real estate companies, such as Vanke and Poly, attended the auction for the Wanliu land plot, which is located between the third and fourth ring roads in western Beijing.

The land plot is the last one available for residential property development in the Wanliu region, where second-hand housing typically sells for 60,000 yuan per square meter.

"Therefore, it is not so strange to see high bids for the plot," said Zhang Dawei, a property market analyst with Centaline Property.

The high bid will definitely affect real estate prices in Wanliu and other areas nearby, he said.

"In spite of this, it is not of great significance for the city's overall land market, as it is still an individual case in a special region," said Zhang.

The domestic real estate market has yet to see comprehensive recovery, said Tian Feng, deputy director of the Beijing Land Reserve Center, adding that the high bid for the Wanliu plot does not reflect overall market conditions.

Beijing's real estate market has cooled down since regulations were tightened in 2010 to cool the sector down. The government implemented differentiated credit and tax policies, restricted purchases of second or third homes in some cities and launched massive subsidized housing projects for low-income residents.

Premier Wen Jiabao said Saturday that the government will resolutely implement real estate market regulations and make it a long-term task to curb speculation in the sector.

He called for faster construction of affordable housing, saying that local authorities should facilitate land approvals and improve the quality of construction by inviting a variety of investors to participate.

In June, many first- and second-tier cities saw new home sales reach a 17-month high, with prices climbing steadily.

China has vowed to build 36 million affordable housing units during the 2011-2015 period in a bid to meet the demands of low-income families and cool the property market.
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Old July 19th, 2012, 06:36 PM   #433
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Global design studio unveils concept for advertising and creative arts zone in Beijing

A surprisingly low-rise concept for the new National Advertising Industry Park to the south of Beijing's Central Business District has taken first place in an international competition for the scheme. The design - composed by the architecture office of Atkins in Beijing with assistance from Atkins' urban planning and landscape teams - presents a series of more than thirty buildings in a mile-long stretch of brownfield land next to the Tonghui River.

This type of development is rare in a city such as Beijing. As the city's position on the architectural and economic markets has risen, so has the height of its towers; it's CBD now a forest of eye-wateringly tall structures. It comes as a surprise then that this latest urban development boasts only a handful of high-rise buildings; a single tall tower to the east with a large rooftop display screen for advertising and a pair of towering structures to the west as a gateway to the National Advertising Industry Park.

Atkin's approach is explained by the team's Senior Design Director, Peter Ridley, who details: "This was a high profile and hard fought competition and our success was due to a design that was focused on the needs of end users, some of China's most creative companies. We prioritised elements that worked on a human scale, creating a streetscape feel that make areas such as Soho in London so attractive."

Taking priority in the design is a range of shorter buildings, with a central avenue lined with three- to five-storey volumes anchored with retail space opening out onto the streetscape. One of the 'defining features', this main street is part of a pedestrian zone and public square which provide access to public features such as a new museum and conference centre, and offers a social space for the Park's users.

Ridley concludes: "We have to thank our clients, Nonmofang County together with Huahan Investment Group, for backing this project as it will be groundbreaking in the Chinese market. The district will have a unique identity and we hope the lively and inspiring spirit of the design will assist those working and visiting area."

Source: www.worldarchitecturenews.com

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Old July 23rd, 2012, 02:23 PM   #434
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Work underway on construction of 2nd airport in Beijing

BEIJING, July 20 (Xinhua) -- A government official said Friday that preparatory work is currently underway prior to government approval on the construction of a second airport in Beijing.

"The project to build a new airport in Beijing has not officially been approved by authorities, however, we aim to start construction as soon as possible," said Huang Min, director of the basic industries department under the National Development and Reform Commission, China's top economic planning body.

Huang said that the building of a new airport in the capital was part of the tasks stated in the nation's 12th Five-Year Development Plan (2011-2015).

Currently, work is underway for the approval of the project, which includes research on the scale, construction standards as well as market orientation of the airport to be built, Huang said at a news conference of the State Council Information Office.

The project must be approved by the State Council, China's cabinet, before construction is allowed to go ahead, Huang said.

Huang said that the new airport is expected to ease the traffic strains currently weighing on the Beijing Capital International Airport as busy routes and massive passenger flows are leading to flight delays.
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Old July 24th, 2012, 07:11 PM   #435
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LiYuan Library in Huairou District by Local Architect Li Xiaodong/李晓东

From Archdaily.com

Quote:
Architects: Li Xiaodong Atelier/李晓东工作室
Location: Huairou District, Suburban Beijing, China
Design Team: Li Xiaodong, Liu Yayun, Huang Chenwen, Panxi
Project Area: 175.0 sqm
Photographs: Li Xiaodong

This project is modest addition to the small village of Huairou on the outskirts of Beijing, just under a two hours drive from busy Beijing urban life.

On the one hand it forms a modern programmatic complement to the village by adding a small library and reading space within a setting of quiet contemplation. On the other hand we wanted to use architecture to enhance the appreciation of the natural landscaping qualities.
So instead of adding a new building inside the village center, we chose this particular site in the nearby mountains, a pleasant five minute walk from the village center. In doing so we could provide a setting of clear thoughts when one consciously takes the effort to head for the reading room.

Because of the overwhelming beauty of the surrounding nature our intervention is modest in its outward expression. We can’t compete with nature’s splendor. The building blends into the landscape through the delicate choice of materials and the careful placement of the building volume. Especially the choice of material is crucial in blending with the regional characteristics. After analyzing the local material characteristics in the village we found large amounts of locally sourced wooden sticks piled around each house. The villagers gather these sticks all year round to fuel their cooking stoves. Thus we decided to use this ordinary material in an extraordinary way, cladding the building in familiar textures in a way that is strikingly sensitive.

The inside of the building has a very expressive character though; its interior is spatially diverse by using steps and small level changes to create distinct places. It frames views towards the surrounding landscape and acts as an embracing shelter. The building is fully glazed to allow for a fully daylight space. The wooden sticks temper the bright light and spread it evenly throughout the space to provide for a perfect reading ambience.





























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我爱北京天安门,天安门上太阳升。
我爱北京朝阳门,朝阳门外高楼起!

I love Beijing TiananMen, Rising Sun upon it.
I love Beijing ChaoyangMen, Rising Skyscrapers beyond it!


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Old July 24th, 2012, 08:18 PM   #436
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Capital to upgrade drainage

BEIJING, July 24 (Xinhuanet) -- Rescue work following the heavy rainstorms that hit Beijing on Saturday is continuing, as the local government pledges to upgrade the poor drainage system.

The floods left at least 37 people dead and caused traffic chaos across the city.

"The rescue and cleanup work is going on, with thousands of people's participation," said Liu Lizhi, a publicity official with Beijing Water Authority.

During the downpour, transportation in the lower areas of the city was paralyzed, especially in some underpasses with poor drainage systems. Deep water was logged at 52 sites in downtown areas, including many underpasses, especially at the Guangqumen Bridge on the East Second Ring Road where a 34-year-old man drowned in a stranded car.

The water was drained by Sunday night, and traffic in the downtown areas has returned to normal.

"The design standards of underpasses are poor because they were constructed in the 1980s," said Zheng Jiang, deputy general manager of Beijing Drainage Group in a press release on Sunday. "It makes our underpass drainage system vulnerable."

Many of the 78 underpasses, which were built lower than surrounding roads, have limited pumping capacity and are capable of draining away water only if the rainfall is less than 30 millimeters an hour, making traffic jams in rainy weather a regular sight, he said.

Pan Anjun, deputy director of the water authority, told China Daily the storms had revealed areas of concern.

"The chaos of transportation due to the summer rainstorms has exposed our weakness in municipal infrastructure," Pan said.

Thorough examinations of underpasses will be conducted, and upgrading plans will be made for every one of them to improve drainage, Pan said. He did not reveal schedule of the upgrading program.

According to a report released by the Beijing Drainage Group in early July, all 78 existing underpasses will be reconstructed by the end of 2015.

More powerful pumps will be installed if water fails to drain from the underpasses when rainfall reaches 50 mm. Adjustable reservoirs will also be built for some underpasses, which will prevent flooding even if the rainfall reaches 70 mm.

"One solution to improve the poor drainage system in Beijing is to gradually upgrade the underground conduits and design standards," said Liu Dongwei, chief architect of the China Institute of Building Standard Design and Research. "But it's not a job that will be completed soon."

The new design standards should be implemented as part of the whole city development plan. In addition, more permeable materials should be adopted in more communities, he said.

"But this upgrading program requires the government to invest more," he said.

The heavy rainfall from the weekend storm drained into rivers running through the capital, which met in the North Canal, the northern part of the Grand Canal and also a branch of Haihe River feeding to the Bohai Sea through Tianjin.

The flood passed through Beijing and arrived in Tianjin on Sunday morning. The water level of the Qinglong and Jianhe rivers, which experienced flooding, peaked at 8.16 meters, 0.06 meters higher than the flood diversion level on Sunday night.

But the flood passed through that section safely, heading to the Bohai Sea on Monday morning.

(Source: China Daily)
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Old July 25th, 2012, 09:39 AM   #437
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Xinhua Insight: Fatal floods force Beijing to look down

BEIJING, July 23 (Xinhua) -- A fierce rainstorm that claimed 37 lives over the weekend in Beijing has raised questions about the capital's ability to cope with flooding.

Many roads in the city were submerged under waist-deep water for hours on Saturday during the downpour, the heaviest the city has seen in 60 years.

The municipal government said as of Sunday night, 25 people had drowned, six died in house cave-ins, five were electrocuted to death and one was killed by lightening.

The rain and flooding also caused blackouts and traffic paralyses. As of Monday, the Beijing-Hongkong-Macao expressway had still not reopened as part of it remained submerged.

The disaster affected 1.9 million people and caused nearly 10 billion yuan (about 1.6 billion US dollars) of damage, while the exact economic loss is still being verified by local governmental departments, according to Beijing flood control and drought relief headquarters.

Many people have taken to Sina Weibo, a popular micro-blogging site, blaming government officials for the city's poor drainage systems.

"The situation of the sewers reflects the real quality of the city's infrastructure," posted "Brother Zhang Xiaohua."

"Musibo" wrote, "China has been investing heavily in construction in recent years, and the glossy appearance of the cities is eye-catching. However, the huge loss from the rainstorm in Beijing has exposed the flaws of the city's infrastructure, which should raise an alarm for the policy makers."

URBAN PLANNING FLAWS

Urban flooding has been a chronic problem in China. During this summer, rainstorms and flooding have wreaked havoc in many cities including the metropolises of Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chongqing and Shenzhen.

Experts believe the floods are largely the result of urbanization, with vast networks of roads and the elimination of greenbelts decreasing some cities' ability to cope with heavy rain.

Wang Hao, expert with China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research, said, more than 80 percent of Beijing's roads are covered in impermeable materials such as concrete and asphalt, which obstructs the infiltration of the rainwater.

However, an investigation led by Li Haiyan, a professor of Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture, said that about half of the drainage networks in Beijing are filled with sediments as thick as 10 to 50 percent of the pipes' diameter.

Sheng Minzhi, an engineer at the Hangzhou Planning Bureau, said the mass construction of tall buildings and underground parking lots in some Chinese cities has also slowed the rate at which rainwater is absorbed into the ground.

Wang Yi, official with Beijing flood control and drought relief headquarters, said, the drainage systems of Beijing's downtown area are largely built to withstand rainfall of 36 to 45 millimeters per hour.

Only a few places, such as the Tiananmen Square, have a drainage system that can withstand 56 millimeter per hour of rainfall.

Xu Chenghua, an engineer at the Hangzhou Urban Planning Academy, said storm drainage systems in Chinese cities are supposed to be designed in accordance with the Urban Drainage Engineering Planning Regulations approved by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development in 2000.

Wang Zhansheng, an environmental and engineering professor at Tsinghua University, said the flooding would not be so severe if the drainage systems were designed to handle more severe rainfalls, adding that the flooding could be avoided if the regulations took population growth, water usage and sewage treatment into consideration.

A central government group responsible for drafting regulations related to urban drainage engineering gathered on May 18 to discuss urban flooding. A source with the group said new regulations concerning drainage system designs are expected to be launched in 2013.

However, experts noted that the reconstruction of the drainage systems is a very expensive and difficult project.

Wang Hao said that since the lay-out and the functional structure of the cities are already in shape, to renew the drainage systems to the level of that of developed countries will be a huge cost.

Experts suggested that the central government launch an uniform urban flooding drainage standard to guide the urban planning of Chinese cities.
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Old July 26th, 2012, 03:04 PM   #438
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Beijing Drainage Group blames planners for flooding
Shanghai Daily
2012-7-25

THE Beijing Drainage Group Co Ltd yesterday blamed the planners of the capital's drainage systems after questions were raised about the city's ability to cope with flooding after the torrential rainstorm claimed 37 lives over the weekend.

The company said the pump stations serving 90 overpasses citywide that were built last century were based on the experience of the former Soviet Union, where more than half the country received less than 400 millimeters of rainfall each year.

The then professionals involved didn't anticipate such a downpour as happened at the weekend -- the heaviest the city has seen in 60 years. The pump stations couldn't cope and that was what had caused the severe flooding, the company said.

Chen Ming, the company's manager, said 74 of the pump stations would be renovated within three years with each able to handle up to 50mm of rainfall per hour, according to Xinhua news agency.

But he admitted that the future pump stations would still not be capable of dealing with such fierce rainstorms. "It needs overall urban planning to fix the root cause and to have a perfect drainage system," he added.

Professionals have suggested the authorities learn from Japan and Britain and build reservoirs underground to collect the rain or set up greenbelts a little below ground level naturally soak up the water and, at the same time, irrigate the plants.

Urban flooding has been a chronic problem in China. This summer, rainstorms and flooding have wreaked havoc in many cities, including Guangzhou, Chongqing and Shenzhen.

However, Xinhua said it was embarrassing that many ancient drainage systems still worked and that cities had to rely on these "antiques" to resist the floods.

In a royal palace near the capital's Beihai Park, the roads were never submerged under waist-deep water thanks to drainage systems built in the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties.

Nine wells inside the palace collect the rain and link to an underground river which surrounds the palace and flows to the then city moat. In addition, the paving was laid in such a way that rainfall could easily find its way into the soil beneath, Xinhua said.

Many other historic places, including Tian'anmen Square and the Temple of Heaven, have the similar system and weren't submerged.

Besides the outdated drainage network, experts also believe the floods are largely the result of urbanization, with vast networks of roads and the elimination of greenbelts decreasing some cities' ability to cope with heavy rain.

Sheng Minzhi, an engineer at the Hangzhou Planning Bureau, said the mass construction of tall buildings and underground parking lots in some cities had slowed the rate at which the ground could absorb rainwater, Xinhua said.
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Old August 4th, 2012, 03:56 PM   #439
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Swiss Group Plans $100 Million Art Vault for Beijing
Aug 1, 2012 2:00 AM GMT+0800
Bloomberg

Swiss logistics group Euroasia Investment SA plans to build a $100 million tax-free storage facility next to Beijing Capital International Airport to tap the booming Chinese art market.

The company is to replicate its Singapore Freeport model, its chairman said. The port has a maximum-security vault for art, gold and valuables, allowing collectors to store valuables without paying taxes or filling customs forms.

The interior of Singapore Freeport, a storage facility for art, wine and other valuables. A similar freeport is planned for Beijing. Source: The Singapore Freeport via Bloomberg.

The Beijing Freeport of Culture project is a joint venture between Euroasia and state-backed Beijing Gehua Cultural Development Group. The project is part of a government initiative to promote the culture industry and clamp down on art smuggling.

“There will be a kind of public service in charge of authentic works getting in and out,” Tony Reynard, chairman of the Singapore Freeport, said by telephone from Singapore.

The Beijing facility, which is still awaiting its license, should be ready by the middle of 2014, said Reynard. The Freeport is planned to be exempt from import duties, value added tax and consumption tax, amounting to a 34 percent saving, he said.

The 83,000 square-meter (893,405 square feet) facility will be almost three times as large as Singapore’s, where all available space is fully let, he said.

Auction Space

The site will also include exhibition space designed to host international auctions, he said. Executives at Sotheby’s (BID) and Christie’s International in Hong Kong were not immediately available for comment. Neither currently holds auctions inside China.

While China boasts more than 1,000 auction houses, the business is plagued by problems of fakes, smuggling and non- payment.

Last year, China overtook the U.S. to become the world’s largest art and antiques market, said a report published by the Netherlands-based European Fine Art Foundation. Auctions in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan raised 9.8 billion euros ($12 billion) in 2011, said the report.

Muse highlights include Manuela Hoelterhoff on arts and Jorg von Uthmann on Paris art.
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Old August 9th, 2012, 07:33 PM   #440
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Foster + Partners proposal for the Bohai masterplan. SOM won the competition as posted earlier in this thread.


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