The city of Beijing is not just all about the historical sights to wander but also about modern and spectacular architectural wonders that has been part of its modernity as a city. The Egg, Water Cube and the famed Bird’s Nest became the popular names of these city's structures because of its spectacular architecture where it is likened. Visiting and getting a close encounter of these structures made me truly marvel to these works of architecture in Beijing.
|Bird's Nest - Beijing's Architectural Wonders|
The building is National Center for Performing Arts that takes a very familiar form - an egg. The building is half oval in shape that seems its half is submerge in water since it is surrounded by an artificial lake. It is also important to inform or shall I shall an innovative way to know that the entrance to the building is through the underground artificial lake! From afar the building also looks like an alien spaceship that crash landed from a Hollywood movie scene because of its sharp contrast of its surrounding which were greenery of trees and houses.
by French architect Paul Andrew, the main building contains 3
performing venues - Opera House, Concert Hall and Theater. It covers an
area of about 118,900 sq meters and the total area of the building is
about 217,500 sq km. Symphonies,
ballet, dance shows, dramas, operas and other kinds of performances are
frequently staged here. It's sharp contrast to its surroundings with
its oval exterior makes it very eye-catching and fondly called it, "The
|The Egg or The Spaceship?|
|I can see the other half of the egg!|
|Beautiful glow by sundown.|
|National Center for Performing Arts at night.|
There were 43 new world records and 132 new Olympic records set at the 2008 Summer Olympics. And some of them happened in Bird's Nest or the National Stadium - the central venue of 2008 Beijing Olympics. It is situated in Olympic Green Village in Chaoyang District of Beijing. All of the atletics events of the 2008 Olympics were held here like track and field, football and discus throw.
|Bird's Nest on a cold afternoon visit.|
|Where world records were made and broken to surpass... The Bird's Nest.|
|I admire it in photos and in television, now my foot has set in Bird's Nest.|
|2008 Beijing Olympics was memorable because of this architectural wonder.|
After the games, the stadium became a popular tourist attraction of the city. Today it has the largest ski resort in urban Beijing now. There is no entrance around the stadium but entering the premises cost CNY50 per person. You can also visit the 2008 Beijing Olympics landmark beside it.
It also known as the National Aquatics Center but dubbed as "Water Cube" because of its exterior design that looks like water bubbles compressed together. It is located in the Olympic Park to the west of the National Stadium (Bird's Nest). The Water Cube is said to be constructed in 2003 and finished in early 2008 to be the host facility of swimming, diving and synchronized swimmings competition of 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Designed by Chinese and Australian, it is the first building in the world built upon "the soap bubble" theory, and sports a polyhedral steel-framed structure. The ETFE (the ethylene-tetrafluoroethylene copolymer) membrane insulates it. This advanced membrane structure is formed by 3,065 bubble-like pneumatic cushions of all sizes. It becomes the first large-scale public project coated with the membrane, and it also has set up a new world record for its massive deployment.
After the Olympic games, it was turned into various leisure and business-related function like The Watercube Waterpark, spa, bars and restaurants and other business sections. In 2022, it will be the venue of curling competitions during the Winter Olympic Games.
|A closer look at the "soap bubbles" of Water Cube.|
|Beijing's architectural wonders at Olympic Park.|
*How to reach National Center for Performing Arts (The Egg)
Via subway, take Subway Line 1, get off at Tiananmen West Station and get out of the station from Exit C (southwest exit). There is an underground passageway to the building directly.
*How to reach Olympic Park
Bird's Nest and Water Cube is inside the Olympic Park. Via subway, take Subway Line 10 then to Beitucheng then switch to Subway Line 8 (Olympic special line). Get off at Olympic Sports Center Station then get out of the station on Exit B1 (northwest exit) or Exit B2 (northeast exit) and walk to the park.
Beijing's Architectural Wonders is part of my Beguiling Beijing.Captivating China series where I share my birthday trip adventures, travel stories and first-time experiences in Beijing, China last March 20-24, 2012. You might also like the other parts of the series:
+Forbidden City: Forbidden No More
+Beijing's Architectural Wonders
+The Imperial Gardens of Beijing
+Airport Review: Beijing Capital International Airport