Paul Goldberger Asks If Beijing is Ready for the Post-Olympics


By Steve Delahoyde Comment


Already starting to question the sheer size of the monstrous building behind the Beijing Olympics, Paul Goldberger over at the New Yorker takes a look at the architectural marvels that the Chinese government has put into full swing, but has maybe failed to think through once the big crowd clear out and things get back to normal. In juxtaposition, Goldberger also looks at the London games, which come just four years from now and how the British government are taking a decidedly low-key approach, in comparison, and seeing how the city is thinking through what happens the day after, as opposed to the “build! build! build!” scene we’ve experienced coming out of Beijing. Here’s a bit:

But, whatever the architects feel, it’s not clear that the Chinese are really that interested in long-term uses. The focus is on August, and on confirming before the world Beijing’s status as a modern, global city. However well the buildings are refitted afterward, it’s hard to see how the Olympic park will relate to the rest of the city, beyond being a welcome piece of green space in an increasingly built-up, sprawling metropolis. The success of what China has built for the Olympics will ultimately be measured not by how these buildings look during the Games but by the kind of change they bring about in the city.