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Old August 27th, 2013, 05:10 PM   #581
little universe
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Wangjing SOHO Construction Updates
Wangjing New Area, NE Beijing



image hosted on flickr

http://www.flickr.com/photos/red_glo...n/photostream/


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我爱北京天安门,天安门上太阳升。
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I love Beijing TiananMen, Rising Sun upon it.
I love Beijing ChaoyangMen, Rising Skyscrapers beyond it!


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Old August 27th, 2013, 06:19 PM   #582
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skyridgeline View Post
By Filip Winiewicz image hosted on flickr


By rhizome (panoramio.com)
Shows how disconnected the development fits into its historic surroundings.
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Old August 27th, 2013, 10:46 PM   #583
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But those 'hoods may be gone in a few years.
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Old August 29th, 2013, 01:07 AM   #584
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Grand Vision for a New Beijing Financial District

Lize Project Defies Doubters With Plan to Build 80 Skyscrapers Over 20 Years

By RICHARD SILK
The Wall Street Journal
August 27, 2013


Richard Silk/The Wall Street Journal (left) and Lize Holdings (right)
Lize would be transformed from one of Beijing's least-developed districts.

BEIJING—A new financial center planned for Beijing, whose size would top London's Square Mile and Manhattan's financial district combined, aims to defy doubters on the sustainability of China's real-estate boom and the stability of its overstretched banks.

If completed as planned, the Lize Financial District on the southern outskirts of Beijing would provide between 8 million and 9.5 million square meters of new floor space, almost doubling the Chinese capital's current stock of high-grade offices.

Eighty skyscrapers are planned to house financial firms, corporations and government entities. Three new subway lines would run under the district, connecting it with the rest of the city.

The ambitious project comes as concerns mount about China's fragile financial system, a large amount of unsold office towers and rising local-government debt.

But the man responsible for the 20-year project that would turn a swathe of farmland and aging low-rise housing on the southern edge of Beijing into a new financial district brushes away fears of failure.

Sitting in a spartan office on the edge of the development site, Shi Weimin exudes confidence. "The amount of office space that is available to the financial sector in Beijing is far short of what's needed," he said. Mr. Shi is chairman of Beijing Lize Financial Business District Holdings Ltd., the government-owned investment vehicle building the new district, and the head of the local government office overseeing the project.

It will be awhile before any of Mr. Shi's project is available to rent. The district is currently a mix of half-built skyscrapers and ramshackle buildings midway through demolition. The first offices should be up and running by 2018, if all goes according to plan, although it will take another decade or more to finish the job, the company says.

Lize will cost a projected 110 billion yuan ($18 billion) to build, an amount to be raised through a combination of bond issuance, bank loans and wealth-management products—investments that offer savers better returns than available on bank deposits. Lize Holdings declined to say how much cash it has raised so far, but it had assets of 10.9 billion yuan and liabilities of 9.54 billion yuan at the end of 2010, according to a bond prospectus issued by its parent company.

Success appears far from guaranteed. Beijing already has one financial center—with the headquarters of top financial firms such as Industrial and Commercial Bank of China—clustered around the central bank and banking regulator a few kilometers northeast of Lize. Shanghai, the home of China's equity market, also has ambitions to be the nation's financial center, and nearby Tianjin wants a piece of the action, too.

Overcapacity in the commercial property market also is a risk. Government attempts to cool the residential sector have encouraged developers to switch to commercial buildings. There is enough office space under construction nationally to cover sales for more than eight years, according to government statistics.

Finding people to move into the new space will be even more difficult if China's strained financial system hits the rocks. A cash crunch in June, when interbank rates went through the roof, laid bare the overextension of China's financial system. Many analysts expect China's banks to enter a period of painful deleveraging, rather than the kind of expansion that might drive demand for expanded office space.

"Some of these projects will work, for sure, but most of them won't," said Gillem Tulloch, founder of Hong Kong-based research firm Forensic Asia and a longtime skeptic of China's property boom.

Still, the "build it and they will come" camp can point to some successes. Shanghai's Pudong area, mocked as a white elephant when it was built in the 1990s, soon filled up. A top-tier city like Beijing, which can count on strong demand from government ministries and corporate headquarters, may have a better chance than most of filling the new space. Despite the picture of rampant overcapacity painted by the government's own data, office vacancy rates in the capital are down to 4.4%, according to Jones Lang LaSalle, a real-estate services firm.

The 170 companies that have signed up to buy or rent space in Lize are mostly domestic Chinese firms, many of them government entities such as the official Xinhua News Agency and Great Wall Asset Management, a state-backed company created to take over banks' bad loans. Mr. Shi said he is in talks with U.S. real-estate firm Tishman Speyer Properties LP. Tishman declined to comment.

With office space filling up before the first building is even completed, Mr. Shi has little time for doubters.

"For 30 years, the predictions that outsiders have made about China's economy, China's political system and so forth have all been wrong," he said, slapping his desk for emphasis. "The land here is selling very well. If you look at our sales you won't have the impression that China's economy is going to decline."

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...671550168.html
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Old August 29th, 2013, 03:02 PM   #585
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So they have given up on Financial Street west of the Forbidden City?
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Old August 30th, 2013, 07:38 AM   #586
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Here's the answer to your question.

What Construction Boom? Beijing Running Out of Office Space

August 15, 2013
Bloomberg News
http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2...-office-space/


Pedestrians cross Jinrong Street in Beijing. Office vacancies there are as low as 2%.

The Beijing Olympics were accompanied by a huge infrastructure and property building spree that was supposed to set China’s capital up for years to come. The city has faced repeated accusations of building too much, too fast, and overestimating the real level of demand – not to mention urban planning buffs’ complaints that Beijing’s vast roads and fragmented sprawl ignore the profession’s best prescriptions for efficient development.

Five years on, with barely a pause in its breakneck growth, the capital appears to have run out of office space.

With the city’s existing office space more or less full up, Beijing has “no option” but to build out further out in the suburbs, according to Marcos Chan, head of North China research at Jones Lang LaSalle, a real estate services firm.

At just 4.4%, he thinks the city’s office vacancy rates are below the “natural rate” needed to allow the market to churn – like the vital empty slot in a sliding block puzzle. “It’s basically fully occupied,” said Mr. Chan. “If you want to expand your business in Beijing, there is simply not much space available.”


That has made Beijing offices the country’s most expensive for tenants, with top-grade rents almost doubling between 2008 and 2012. Shanghai office rents grew by less than 10% in the same period, according to JLL’s figures.

The government has grand plans for a new financial district at Lize in southwestern Beijing to ease the shortage. The planned cluster of banks, insurers and private equity firms will make up the capital’s third financial zone. In the 1990s, when the authorities dreamed up Finance Street on the west side of town, the new center was supposed to take pressure off the capital’s traditional business district in the east. Finance Street didn’t take long to fill up – vacancy rates there are as low as 2%, Mr. Chan said.


Beijing’s government also has a vision for the satellite towns surrounding the capital. A new airport is planned for Daxing, south of the city – Beijing Capital International Airport, the world’s second-busiest by passenger numbers, said in its latest annual report it was reaching saturation point. And unglamorous suburbs like Fangshan and Tongzhou will be designated as “hubs” for specific industries, like petrochemicals and “cultural industries,” respectively.

China is in the midst of an orgy of building, with 5.7 billion square meters of office space under construction, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. Far away from the capital, smaller cities like Zhengzhou, Changsha and Nanchang are building whole new commercial districts.


Richard Silk/The Wall Street Journal
Cranes tower over a set of soon-to-be-demolished buildings in Lize, future site of Beijing’s third financial district.

Lize is currently a vast construction site, where new skyscrapers rise above the overgrown remains of the three-story apartment houses that once covered the site. In Shuitouzhuang, a half-demolished compound that was once home to 400 residents, only one family remains. Answering the door, Ms. Li said she and her family were still discussing compensation with the city government. Though visibly saddened by the loss of her neighborhood, Ms. Li said the authorities had been reasonable.

“I have faith that the government will resolve this question,” she said. “I’ll accept their decision on compensation. Whatever they decide, I won’t ask for one fen more.”

Sixty-year-old Mrs. Li has lived at Shuitouzhuang for 20 years – ever since her last home, a single story house near Beijing South railway station, was bulldozed for redevelopment.

Beijing is not alone in building out forests of gleaming new office blocks in the middle of nowhere. London did the same when it designated the industrial wasteland around Canary Wharf as a financial hub back in the 1980s. What was ridiculed at the time as a quixotic venture is now one of the world’s key financial centers. The development succeeded on its own terms, even if locals complain that it is miles from anything and has all the soul of a car showroom.

But China already has a major international financial center at Shanghai, and a secondary stock exchange in the southern city of Shenzhen. Seventy miles south-east of Beijing, Tianjin has ambitions to turn itself into a banking center. If China’s troubled financial system really hits the rocks some of those offices are going to be empty a very long time.

– Richard Silk
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Old August 30th, 2013, 07:48 PM   #587
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They should've built taller over at Financial Street!
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Old September 5th, 2013, 03:36 PM   #588
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has it already been posted?
Quote:
Originally Posted by z0rg View Post
2009.04.12







Beijing


It might seem unusual to create a façade that graphically represents digital technology, but with the Digital Beijing Building, the Beijing-based firm Studio Pei-Zhu has done so in several ways.
In this 57m-high structure, which provided communication and information services during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the northern and southern sides represent barcodes. Meanwhile, the western and eastern façades replicate the look of an integrated circuit board. When vertical grooves in those facades take a diagonal jog before straightening out again, they resemble the routing of wires on a circuit board.
To develop the building concept and win a design competition in which seven other internationally renowned firms participated, start-up design firm Studio Pei-Zhu considered the role of architecture in the information age. The firm comments that the Digital Beijing Building embraces the digital era architecturally and recreates microscopic digital patterns on a monumental scale.
At the Digital Beijing Building, four reinforced concrete and steel frame blocks line up like dominoes and rise 11 storeys, with two additional levels underground.
The four blocks interconnect in a large central area, but from some exterior vantage points, the blocks look disconnected. That is, it appears as though three voids separate four solid entities. In alternating between void and solid, the building creates the effect of a barcode.
Exterior materials include curtain walls of precast concrete panels and glass, as well as metallic grids covering open shafts between the four blocks.
Touting the building's green features, the firm maintains that the LED lighting system can significantly reduce electricity usage for lighting and that the building collects rainwater.
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Old September 5th, 2013, 05:11 PM   #589
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Highcliff View Post



Forerunner Installation?
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Old September 23rd, 2013, 04:17 PM   #590
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Chaoyang Park Project Proposal

By Beijing-based local architects: MAD Architects



From Archdaily.com


Quote:

As a continuation to his “Shan-Shui City” concept, which envisions a “city of mountains and water,” Ma Yansong of MAD Architects has proposed an interpretation of China’s ancient natural philosophy in the contemporary city: the Chaoyang Park project. Situated in the world’s second largest city park and surrounded by a typical Chinese business district, the Chaoyang Park project seeks to infuse the “vigorous Shan-Shui culture” with a new urban typology that unites architecture and nature as a single entity.



“The design,” explains Yansong, “starts with the understanding that the park is part of the plot: by taking the natural beauty of lakes and mountains, the architectural complex can be read as a futuristic city landscape painting in which high-rise buildings act as the peaks, individual office buildings as the slope, high-end offices as the ridge and residential buildings as mountain ranges in combination with classical landscape elements like lakes, springs, forest, streams, valleys, rocks and peaks.”

“As a result, the whole architectural complex does not look like they are “built” but growing up naturally from its surrounding environment and they recreate a new Shan-Shui space typology. People can feel both the grandeur of the holistic landscape and its exquisite inside scenery.”















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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 October 2nd, 2013, 04:46 PM   #591
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Beijing sewage plants lag behind
24 September 2013
China Daily

City's rapid population growth has 'far exceeded infrastructure capacity'

Untreated waste is spilling into the capital's rivers, a fact that city authorities openly acknowledge.

The capacity of sewage disposal plants in Beijing is far behind the rapid rate of urban development in the capital, especially around the rural-urban fringe zone.

In many places, polluted water is directly discharged into rivers without treatment, according to the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau.

Statistics from the Beijing Water Authority show that only 83 percent of the city's wastewater is treated, with the remaining 17 percent discharged into rivers without treatment.

The population of the city has far exceeded infrastructure capacity, said Han Yongqi, director of the management office of water and ecological environment at the bureau.

The city's water pollution treatment facilities are based on the city's population hitting 18 million by the end of 2020, he said.

However, the pace of growth has been seriously underestimated. The capital's population exceeded 20 million last year, according to the city's statistics bureau.

An investigation into the quality of surface water in the capital, released by the Department of Environmental Protection at the North China Center for Environmental Inspectors in early August, found all its 50 rivers, except nine that had run dry, were polluted.

In addition to ammoniacal nitrogen pollution, which affects some 35 percent of the city's rivers, chemical oxygen demand and phosphorus pollution are common, according to the report.

Treating the surface water pollution is no easier than tackling air pollution in the city, said an insider from the Beijing Water Authority, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Wastewater treatment plants only cover around 60 percent of some densely populated regions, especially the urban-rural fringe zones, according to the investigation. At some farms, the excrement of animals is discharged into the rivers, it said.

Han said the source of water pollution is mainly domestic wastewater and the discharge problem is especially serious in urban areas.

The Qinghe River, a 23.6-kilometer-long waterway in the northern part of the city, is basically a foul-smelling sewer, with untreated waste discharged directly into it.

The number of residents in the Qinghe area soared from 800,000 to 2.9 million from 2003 to 2011.

The sewage plants located along the riverside are overwhelmed. According to the city's water authority, the government has been enlarging the capacity of sewage treatment plants since 2007, yet is has so far been unable to match the growth in residents.

According to Han, the government's continuing efforts should result in a great improvement in the city's water quality over the next three years.

However, considering the pace of urban development and the present water pollution levels, it may take some time for all the city's rivers to reach an acceptable standard.
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Old October 29th, 2013, 05:23 PM   #592
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Beijing to construct 6 new subway lines

BEIJING, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) -- Construction of six new subway lines in Beijing is expected to start by the end of this year to help ease traffic in the Chinese capital.

The six lines, with a total length of more than 90 km, are expected to be operational by the end of 2016, bringing the city's total track length to more than 600 km, according to the Beijing City Subway Construction Management Company on Tuesday.

They include downtown lines and lines linking suburban areas with the downtown.

Currently there are 17 subway lines running in Beijing with a total length of 456 km. The city's subway system carries approximately 10 million passengers daily on workdays.
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Old October 29th, 2013, 05:43 PM   #593
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wow!!

give one to Montevideo!!! hahaha
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Old October 30th, 2013, 12:06 AM   #594
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Crazy! But beijing needs these lines.
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Old November 12th, 2013, 05:08 AM   #595
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Dry weather complicates China's water diversion
7 November 2013

WUHAN, Nov. 7 (Xinhua) -- Less than a year from the start of water diversion from a sprawling reservoir in central China to northern regions including Beijing, questions are surfacing about whether the once-soggy south has enough water to help ease shortages in the acrid north.

The worries have been rekindled after the Danjiangkou reservoir stretching across Hubei and Henan provinces, the water source for the central route of China's massive south-to-north water diversion project, failed to start water storage as scheduled in a dry autumn season.

After eight years of construction, the height of a dam originally completed in 1973 has been raised by 14.6 meters to 176.6 meters to enable the Danjiangkou reservoir to store up to 29 billion cubic meters of water. At full capacity, the reservoir has an area of 1,022 square km and is the second largest in China only after the Three Gorges.

The heightened dam passed quality checkups organized by the State Council, China' s cabinet, in late August. Afterward, the reservoir was ordered to start storing water from the Hanjiang River, the largest tributary of the Yangtze River, in an expected autumn flood season in September and October.

An annual average of 9.5 billion cubic meters of water in the reservoir is designed to flow all the way to 19 major cities and more than 100 counties in the north beginning in October next year.

The autumn flooding, however, did not come as expected, as the Hanjiang River basin, which stretches westward to Shaanxi Province, experienced a rainless autumn and many upstream dams held more water to brace for potential severe winter and spring droughts.

As a result, the volume of water flowing down into the Danjiangkou reservoir averaged just 446 cubic meters per second in September, down 70 percent from the same period of normal years, according to latest data.

Meanwhile, the reservoir was ordered to discharge no less than 800 cubic meters of water per second in September and no less than 600 cubic meters per second in October to meet demand in the lower reaches. The gap drove down water levels in the reservoir by more than three meters over the two-month period to 144.15 meters, about five meters lower than the dead storage level.

As the dry winter kicks in, the water level is expected to keep falling in the coming months and could drop by another nine meters to a rarely seen low of 135 meters next May. The reservoir dropped to 134.7 meters in May 2011 when it was hit by a once-in-a-century drought.

Historically, China's south has always been rich in water resources and often battled severe flooding while the north often suffered severe water shortages. But over the past couple of years, many regions in the south of the country have become new victims of drought while the northern regions have begun to receive more rain.

Li Weijing, chief scientist of the climate research program under the China Meteorological Administration, said it is very likely that the south will see more droughts in the future while the north could receive more rain.

In the 1980s and 1990s, the rain belt lay in the Yangtze River reaches and regions to the south of the river, while as of 2003, the rain belt started to move northward. That tendency has become more obvious over the past couple of years, Li said.

This year's dry autumn in the Hanjiang River basin reinforced worries among experts and the general public that if the south becomes drier in the future, it could pose challenges to China's water diversion efforts.

In addition, quickening urbanization and robust economic growth along the Hanjiang River have boosted the demand for water, intensifying the scramble.

Officials close to the water diversion scheme have moved to reassure naysayers. Zheng Shouren, chief engineer of the Yangtze River Water Resources Commission under the Ministry of Water Resources, said the dry autumn forced the Danjiangkou reservoir to delay water storage to the flooding season next summer, but the scheduled water diversion in October is unlikely to be affected.

The heightened dam can help store more water in rainy years to make up the gap in dry years, said Zheng.

But he acknowledged that the south has entered a less rainy period and said that the building of a series of dams upstream to block more water calls for integrated river basin management.

The viewpoint was echoed by Wang Hao, head of the water resources department with the China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research.

Wang said all upstream tributaries and reservoirs should be put under integrated water regulation so as to balance supply downstream to the Danjiangkou reservoir.

In dry years, the water project should divert less water to the north to ensure the meeting of local water demand first, he said, adding other big reservoirs along the thousands of canals and pipelines to the north can help supplement the water supply.

Several experts, including Wang, said that with the authorities planning to increase the volume of water diverted from the Danjiangkou reservoir to 13 billion cubic meters a year, they should consider building a canal to divert water from the Three Gorges reservoir on the Yangtze River to supplement the Danjiangkou resource.

The south-to-north water diversion project, first envisioned by China's late chairman Mao Zedong, was designed to consist of eastern, central and western routes, with an estimated overall cost of 500 billion yuan (82 billion U.S. dollars) and a construction period of 40 to 50 years.

The project aims to transfer 44.8 billion cubic meters of water annually from the country's south, mainly the Yangtze River reaches, to quench the water shortage in the north.

Construction of the eastern and central routes began in December 2002 and December 2003 respectively, and water diverted via the central route will mainly supply Beijing. Hundreds of thousands of local residents have been relocated to make way for the project.
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Old November 15th, 2013, 12:05 PM   #596
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Palace Museum looking to expand and preserve
14 November 2013
China Daily



The Palace Museum, housed in the Forbidden City in Beijing, will expand its exhibition area to alleviate the pressure of huge tourist number.

During the week-long National Day holiday, the museum attracted more than 710,000 visitors with the peak daily number reaching 175,000 on Oct 2, according to museum.

Shan Jixiang, director of the museum, said on Wednesday he felt confident the facility could cope with more tourists in the future, with many projects under construction to meet that goal.

It plans to restore the ancient Internal Affairs Department, located in the western Palace Museum, and has received approval from the World Heritage Committee.

Some temporary buildings, garden houses and workplaces of research institutes will be gradually moved out of the key visiting area of the Palace Museum, Shan said.

As of 2020, 76 percent of the palace will be open to public, while currently it has only opened 45 percent of the area, he said.

Since the museum was established in 1925, most of its western part, which was called "the women's world" and housed the Emperor's family, has been closed to the public, but it will be open to visitors by 2015.

A 2,800-square-meter exhibition area will be constructed at the Meridian Gate to display the museum's art collections.

Another exhibition center to display ancient architectural collections is under construction at the East Glorious Gate.

Also, for the first time, tourists will be able to visit a section of the high city wall that connects the East Glorious Gate to the southeast corner tower.

Shan said one-sixth of the city wall would be open to visitors.

Another major project is the construction of a new north branch, which aims to ease pressure on the Palace Museum and is expected to attract 3 million visitors after completion.

The north branch, which was a brick kiln for the court during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912), covers 476,000 sq m in northwestern Haidian district, 40 km from the city center. The construction of the branch site is a priority on the museum's eight-year safety campaign.

In three to five years, according to plans, the site will house a repair center for large artifacts such as carpets, lamps and ancient vehicles, a research center for technology conservation, an exhibition space, a digital center and a palace garden center.

One of the first projects at the site is a training workshop for palace-style architecture construction, which had an opening ceremony on Nov 9.

During the first eight-day training sessions, 15 wood-workers for the museum will receive classes on such skills as reading ancient architectural drawings, the characteristics of the Forbidden City architecture and the repair of palace-style architecture.

"A tradition of nearly 300 years, the palace-style architecture craft once only served the royal family and absorbed the best techniques nationwide, developing many strict rules," says Li Yongge, a teacher for the workshop who is a Palace Museum researcher as well as the state-level intangible cultural heritage inheritor of palace-style architecture.

"We are losing these rules, materials and techniques," Li said. "What we are doing is a race against modernization."

Shan said at the ceremony, "The craft of Palace-style architecture has played a significant role in building, repairing and protecting the nearly 600-year-old Forbidden City. What we value is not just the architecture complex itself, but the building technique and its inheritance."

The other project launched the same day and expected to be completed in 233 days is a palace garden research center.

The center covers 55,000 sq m and includes a teaching area and culture zone. A greenhouse is already in use.

"The project will significantly improve the cultivation of ornamental plants and flowers within the main site of the Palace Museum, and eliminate potential safety hazards," Shan said, adding that the garden research center will be open to the public when it is completed.

Taipei Palace Museum Director Fung Ming-chu visited the north branch site and attended the opening ceremony while in Beijing for the fourth Two Cross-Straits Palace Museums Symposium.

"I heard about the north branch construction for the first time this April when Director Shan visited Taipei Palace Museum, and I am amazed that the site has already functioned this fast," Fung said, adding that a 45,000-sq-m new south branch site for the Taipei Palace Museum is still at the stage of foundation a laying after 12 years' planning.

"Drawing support from social forces, the two Palace Museums are doing their best to make their collections better-known to the public," Fung said. "I am sure the two will have a lot of experience exchanges and continue to learn from each other in the future."
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Old November 17th, 2013, 02:06 PM   #597
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A living museum's life support
15 November 2013
China Daily

The capital's first hutong museum preserves history

Beijing's new hutong museum not only houses historical relics but also is itself a relic.

Shijia Hutong Museum is an architectural artifact. The structure has dodged the wrecking ball of progress to break new ground in the preservation of, and education about, old Beijing's buildings and the people who've long dwelled in them.

It opened to the public last month.

While advancing historical conservation, the establishment also elaborates on the transformations of these buildings over the generations and the lifestyles of their inhabitants, demonstrating tradition isn't static.

"The museum is a footnote to the beautiful chapters of the story of Shijia Hutong - and Beijing's hutong in general - and traditional lifestyles," Chaoyangmen sub-district's secretary and the museum's founder Chen Dapeng says.

"The best part is that it's embedded in occupied hutong and quadrangular courtyards downtown. So, when visitors leave, they feel like they're stepping into another museum."

A resident of the surrounding hutong, who would only give his surname, Wei, says: "Actually, every hutong has its stories and each should have a museum like this."

Shijia Hutong Museum is housed in the siheyuan (traditional courtyard) that was once home to celebrated Chinese writer Ling Shuhua.

It was renovated with authentic bricks and tiles gathered from hutong and other heritage sites around Beijing, says Chen. It receives about 200 visitors a day.

A visitor from Haidian district, who would only give her surname, Guo, says: "The museum has preserved many items and scenes from daily life in olden times. Some items remind me of my younger years because I owned such things, too."

Some items were donated by Suo Ya at 49 Shijia Hutong. Her grandparents bought the compound in the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). The 57-year-old grew up there in the 1960s and later moved into an apartment building in another part of town.

She loaned her student ID, report cards and schoolbooks from Shijia Hutong Primary School.

"Those objects are my treasures," Suo says. "They record history. While they're precious to me, I've lent them to the museum so more people can see them."

She hopes to do whatever she can to support the museum.

"It think its opening is meaningful," she says. "It shows people have started to realize hutong culture's value."

Suo hopes the museum doesn't overemphasize local bigwigs.

"Many famous figures lived in Shijia. But so did many ordinary people," she says. "They created culture together. Diversity is hutong culture's essence. So, the museum should display regular people's relics, too."

Some of Shijia's stories - legacies of both regular and well-known residents - have been lost.

Even its namesake's origin is debated. Many contend it hails from the prominent Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) Shi family. Others believe it derives from Ming chancellor Shi Kefa.

The reincarnation of the hutong accords with its past life as an education center.

In 1908, the US Congress passed an act creating a scholarship program for Chinese students to study in the United States. A bilateral agreement created Tsinghua College, and 100 students were sent Stateside annually.

In 1909, the imperial Ministry of Foreign Affairs opened an administrative office in Shijia to manage these overseas students. Three exams to select the students - noted scholar Hu Shi among them - were held between 1909 and 1911.

Yet this is but a single page in Shijia's sometimes-turbulent chronicle, as the museum reveals.

Ming historian Zhang Jue's Capital City Hutong Collection reveals Beijing's inner city contained more than 900 hutong during the reign of Emperor Jiajing (1507-1566).

When the ethnically Manchurian Qing Dynasty named the city its capital, it didn't alter much of the physical layout but reconceived administrative jurisdictions.

It carved the city center into military-defense divisions called the Eight Banners.

Shijia Hutong came under the Bordered White Banner's management.

This meant the 1901 signing of the Boxer Protocol put some of Shijia's courtyards under Danish and church rule, since the greater Dongjiaominxiang area containing the hutong was designated as a foreign legation quarter.

Demographics and architecture changed again as Beijing experienced a population explosion from 1919 to 1949 that generated a construction boom. Influential officials gravitated toward the Dongcheng district that contains Shijia. But Shijia's essential layout survived the redevelopment, which particularly focused on roads.

The greatest threat to Shijia's essential ancient integrity has come with post-1949 modernization and population increase.

Many ancient courtyards were gutted and replaced with multistory structures. Streets and hutong were reconfigured into new communities.

Shijia today contains 15 multistory buildings and 82 bungalows and courtyards.

The reconstruction came before the Protection of Beijing Traditional Hutong-Siheyuan Architecture was included in the General Plan of Beijing City (2004-2020). The policy's crux is the effective preservation of the original layout and style of hutong.

Courtyards are among the primary considerations for architectural conservation in the country's urban planning since they remain an important cultural vehicle.

They're still evolving and, with well-conceived planning, can continue to develop for generations.

Beijing's downtown hutong were mostly constructed in the 13th century, when the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) made it the imperial capital.

Around that period, Italian explorer Marco Polo wrote: "The city's layout is so well-structured that other cities pale in comparison."

Shu Yi, former curator of the National Museum of Modern Chinese Literature and son of legendary Chinese author Lao She, advocates the perpetuation of Beijing's ancient edifices.

"The city would lose its charm as an ancient capital if there are only modern buildings," he says.

"So, it's fortunate we're preserving some precious heritage, such as hutong and siheyuan, however we develop."

Xinhua and Erik Nilsson contributed to this story.
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Old December 16th, 2013, 12:01 PM   #598
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Outdoor Room at the Olympic Park

From archdaily.com

Quote:
Architects: MODU
Location: Beijing, China
Collaborators: Ho-Yan Cheung, Arup
Year: 2013
Photographs: Matthew Niederhauser


MODU’s Outdoor Room project for the 5th China International Architecture Biennial creates an urban public space that reactivates Beijing’s iconic Olympic Park while focusing on the air quality crisis in Beijing. The competition-winning project will be open in Beijing through November 2013 and will be installed in six other cities in China.

Outdoor Room serves as an engaging urban public space and a barometer of Beijing’s well-documented air quality levels. Along with the weather report, daily readings of air particulate contaminant have become part of everyday urban life in Beijing. On most days, pollution creates a dense fog that transforms the city with an unsettling palette of colors—from dull grey to off-white and yellow-beige. On the occasional day of better air quality, urban forms suddenly materialize “out of the fog.” The concept of a city that disappears and reappears is central to the public experience of Outdoor Room. Inside the pavilion, a large elliptical roof opening provides a visual measure of the air quality. On days of good visibility, the roof void frames clear views of the Olympic Observation Tower and beyond to the National Stadium. On days of poor air quality, the landmarks virtually disappear from sight. The uncanny experience of a city disappearing and reappearing comes into focus from within Outdoor Room and draws attention to the crisis of air pollution in Beijing.


The design of Outdoor Roomprecipitated the concept of the “room in the city”andits converse, the“city in the room.” Viewed from the Olympic Park, the “room in the city” does not attempt to recreate the urban boundaries that separate polluted outdoor air from conditioned and filtered indoor air throughout Beijing. From within the public space, the openings between the fabric panels frame a “city in the room.” This “city in the room” offers changing views of the OlympicPark and the air that surrounds it. The glossy translucent fabric panels both reflect and transmit the color hue of the polluted air enveloping the city—from blue to grey to yellow. The torque geometry of the fabric panels reflects the colors differently, especially when viewed fromdifferent vantage points within Outdoor Room. All of the fabric panels were recycled from nearby exposition tent structures in the Olympic Park, highlighting existing environmental opportunities even in Beijing.























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Last edited by little universe; December 16th, 2013 at 12:06 PM.
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Old December 16th, 2013, 02:27 PM   #599
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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 December 16th, 2013, 02:29 PM   #600
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errrrr...next page >>>>>>
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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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