day 23-26_Beijing_scalelessness

I found the three buildings, Performing Arts Center, Bird’s Nest, and CCTV Headquarters, fascinating for their strange ability to confuse one’s perception of scale. Windows typically provide a building with a sense of scale, but with these buildings, it is difficult to figure out how big or small they really are. They disguise their true size by smooth monolithic paneling (Performing Arts Center), elaborate structural lattice (Bird’s Nest), or hyper-scaling of structure to the point of super-graphic (CCTV).  Especially from a distance, they appear scaleless.

Performing Arts Center (Paul Andreu):

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National Olympic Stadium (HdM, Ai Weiwei, Arup):

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CCTV Headquarters (OMA):

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The walk around the CCTV block revealed once again the true nature of Beijing; the flashy renderings displayed on the surrounding construction fence showing what the city wants to be, and the actual reality of what it is - dilapidated apartment blocks and decrepit shops lining up the dirty street.

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