Archive for the ‘Development’ Category

Commuting in Beijing

Thursday, July 24th, 2008

It’s an even number plate day today. With half the city’s privately owned cars off the road, traffic is running smoothly. Secondary roads are free-flowing but there’s still significant traffic on main arteries like Changan Jie at peak hours.

The #10 subway that runs along the East 3rd Ring has just opened putting Chaoyang Park, Sanlitun and Lufthansa Centre within a short stroll of a station. It took a few days for Beijingers to get acquainted with it but the new swipe card ticketing system is running well too. Fares are still at a flat RMB2.00 irrespective of destination. Will they increase and become destination dependent as in Shanghai? The hardware’s certainly there.

Our handy new Beijing subway map can be downloaded here.

China World Tower 3

Friday, December 14th, 2007

China World Tower 3 nearing completionWith the main structure complete, the media has given a lot of attenti   on to Rem Koolhaas’ CCTV tower . We’re more interested in China World Tower 3, the newest addition to Beijing’s first high-end office complex scheduled for completion this year. The first buildings were completed way back in 1990.

It’s meant to overtake faded Jinguang as Beijing’s tallest building at 380m high with an auspicious 68 floors. Typical of Robert Kuok’s people to keep it all low-key despite its prominence on the skyline. Hadeed & Koolhaas’ Beijing edifices may get pride of place in the glossy books but China World will be the premier office address. Why? Functional design, quality materials & maintenance.

- Excuse the dreary camera-phone pic.

New subway construction in Beijing

Saturday, December 8th, 2007

Five new subway lines totaling 140km started construction in Beijing on Saturday. They will be completed by 2015. The first phase of Line 10, Line 8 and a 28-km line linking the city to the airport are currently under construction. The Olympic and airport line will be completed before the games next year.

Beijing currently has 142km of subway lines but plans to have 561km by 2015. There are 1.2 million private cars in the city and about 1,000 new cars appear on the city’s streets each day.

Source: China Daily

CCTV towers touching

Friday, November 9th, 2007

CCTV towers touchingA glorious late-autumn autumn. Just had to snap the nearly touching CCTV towers. For years, I’ve been kicking myself for not creating time-exposures of the views from our office and home. Wish I’d done it for Rem Koolhaas’ latest edifice. Note the exterior panels going up on the right tower.

Update: A week later, the connection was made.

Doll House

Sunday, June 17th, 2007

Yesterday, Z, Carol & I were headed west on Changan Jie to meet JC when we noticed tourists on the China World side taking snaps of of the vista across the road. The lower floors resembled a cross-sectioned doll-house in disrepair.

Wang Shi Fu tells us the blocks were built in the early 80s and as housing for the industrial machinery factory that is now Jianwai SOHO (The 2nd photo is what remains of the factory and beside it is a new park currently being landscaped) . He remembers them as premium homes. I remember the elderly a-yi’s chatting on stools outside on hot wind-still summer evenings. Carol thinks it was bad planning in the first place to have built homes on what for centuries has been a major artery into the city. In the central planners’ defence, who would have imagined?