The Peoples’ Opinion on the Beijing Building Boom


Like we saw in this post just yesterday, it seems like we’ve all been talking about if famous architects should be working in China, what’s being said when they take these commissions, and how it will later effect their careers. But it seems that rare is the day we read about how the Chinese people are responding to all of these Westerners coming in, razing their houses, and building insane things in their (former) backyards. Granted, some of this is the whole unfree media, but some of it must also be a little bias on our behalf. So it’s nice to see a piece like Paul Goldberger‘s in the New Yorker, “Forbidden Cities,” which talks to Beijing natives and reports on their thoughts about the whole thing, all of which was a refreshing change from the usual. Our favorite part was learning what they call Koolhaas‘ new CCTV headquarters:

The novelty of the form — some Beijingers have taken to calling it Big Shorts — takes time to comprehend; the building seems to change as you pass it. “It comes across sometimes as big and sometimes as small, and from some angles it is strong and from others weak,” [Ole Scheeren] said. “It no longer portrays a single image.”