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Beijing's Building Boom [Slide Show]

As China prepares for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, its capital has become a center of construction—and air pollution

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Beijing National Stadium

Entwined twigs of steel cup this more than $540-million (3.8-billion-yuan) Olympic stadium that has come to be called the "Bird's Nest"--almost as if the new national bird needed a home. Based on the artistic conception of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei and architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron, the stadium holds 91,000 spectators and will employ more than 1,000 photovoltaic panels from Chinese solar manufacturer Suntech, which are expected to provide 130 kilowatts of power to offset at least some of the building's power demand.....[ More ]

National Museum of China

Built in 1959, this museum off Tiananmen Square displays the "national bird of China" on its roof, visible throughout town on buildings being renovated like this one or newly constructed. The $3.8-million (26.5-million-yuan) renovation will enlarge the museum from 700,000 to 2.1 million square feet (65,000 to 192,000 square meters) to showcase its collection of 610,000 archaeological treasures and antiquities covering thousands of years of Chinese history.....[ More ]

China Central Television Headquarters

This iconic skyscraper still under construction makes a continuous loop out of two bracketing, leaning towers of glass and steel that connect to form an off-center parallelogram with a gaping hole in the middle.....[ More ]

Forbidden City

The imperial palace is getting a paint job for the Olympics--and all the visitors that event is expected to bring. The former residence of the Ming and Qing emperors boasts 980 buildings, many of which are in need of restoration, either to replace rotting wood or to refresh the coatings on their countless intricate designs.....[ More ]

Beijing National Aquatics Center

Known as the "Bubble Building" for its distinctive covering, the translucent plastic encasing this $150-million (1-billion-yuan) building finished in January allows sunlight in for lighting as well as to heat the 7,000 square foot (650 square meter) building and its showcase pool.....[ More ]

Beijing Capital International Airport, Terminal 3

Terminal 3 is the world's largest airport building, according to its architects Foster+Partners of London, covering some 10.6 million square feet (985,000 square meters)--larger than the Pentagon. The roof resembles a dragon and is studded with skylights that provide the bulk of the terminal's lighting as well as nourishment to the imperial style garden inside.....[ More ]

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