Beijing is a city under construction. Every other block seemed to be a construction site, with up to four large cranes working on a single block. Unfortunately, I was not impressed by the contemporary architecture of Beijing. Aside from the Olympic area (which I did not visit), it appears that the majority of construction sites are simple, blocky buildings without the elegance of the modern movement. The contemporary architecture of Shanghai was much more impressive and reminded me of La Défence outside of Paris. I feel that Shanghai has done a much better job of creating new beautiful structures while respecting the past. In Beijing’s rush to be a “modern” city, its architectural ideal seems to embrace demolishing the old in favor of the bland.
Construction in the distance beyond the Forbidden City in Beijing