Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Rem Koolhaas tried to reinvigorate Beijing's monotonous array of cookie-cutter skyscrapers with two of my favorite buildings in the world, but sure enough, China decided it couldn't handle that.

I'll miss the Mandarin Oriental terribly. Its clean steel facade, crashing gracefully into the ground, was always a welcome sight along the Third Ring Road.

UPDATE: The YouTube videos of the fire have been blocked in China (pleasegodletmeleavethiscountrysoon). I highly encourage you to check them out. They're incredibly...bizarre. And of course, we'll never know what happened.

Another Update: Srsly, this was my favorite building! I always read it as a response to the fallen World Trade Center towers; its facade mirrors that of the Twin Towers, and from the Third Ring Road it looks as though that facade is peeling away from the main building as it sinks into the ground. The New York Times presented a delightful piece about government attempts to downplay the catastrophe this morning.