Ole Scheeren: A Beijing Essay



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To some of us Westerners, particularly the ones who live in little, old Copenhagen, the size, scope and vastness of Beijing, let alone China, can be hard to get our heads around. To say that the Chinese capital moves at a different architectural pace than most Europeans are used to is, apparently, a grave understatement.

One European who has ventured East and tackled the rapidly changing nature of the city is architect Ole Scheeren who completed the iconic China Central TV Headquarters in 2008, 6 years after his relocation to Beijing in 2002.

In this breathtaking visual essay that portrays, among other eye candy, the awe-inspiring Beijing skyline, he shines a knowing light on the differences between his European upbringing and the attitudes to ‘function, priority and what you’re entitled to ‘ that he encountered while traveling around China.

As the former Director and Partner of Rem Koolhaas' Dutch firm, OMA, takes us through the incredible, Blade Runner-esque scenery and reflects on Chinese culture, architecture and his own place in it (in a tone and accent that's conspicuously Werner Herzogian), it leaves a lasting impression that makes you want to experience Beijing first-hand. For now, though, we’ll happily make do with Scheeren’s vibrant visual essay.

Props to NOWNESS for the thought-provoking post.