Beijing: world's home of cutting-edge architecture

While Shanghai is often seen as more cosmopolitan than Beijing, this judgment certainly does not apply in one key area: architecture. Beijing is quickly becoming the capital of cutting-edge architecture, for China but also for the world. You would be hard-pressed to find an equal number of innovative building designs, either recently constructed or scheduled for completion in the near future, in any other city. Part of this architectural burst is due to the upcoming Olympics but part of it is surely due to an experimental openness rising out of China's economic success. Here's a quick run-down of some of these new buildings:

  • Beijing Capital International Airport (Norman Foster)
  • Mandarin Oriental Hotel (Rem Koolhaas)
  • CCTV Headquarters (Rem Koolhaas)
  • National Grand Theater or the "Egg" (Paul Andreu)
  • National Aquatics Center or the "Water Cube" (PTW Architects)
  • National Olympic Stadium or the "Bird's Nest" (Herzog and de Meuron, Ai Wei-Wei)