Our roving correspondent architect Iker Gil, fresh from a trip to pre-Olympics Beijing, provides us with these two images. The first is of PTW/Arup's National Aquatic Centre, wrapped in 100,000 square meters of EFTE, a plastic which both absorbs solar radiation and reduces thermal heat loss.
The second is of the "Bird's Nest", or National Olympic Stadium, by Herzog and de Meuron in collaboration with, again, ArupSport (it's the law, you know.)
Gil came away impressed by both structures, although he has his doubts over how long the Aquatic Center will hold up and remain fresh. He also liked Rem Koolhaas' CCTV tower. "It has a sense of strength and power that other skyscrapers (even taller) don't have."
China is the great experiment of our time. No one really knows how it will turn out. As impressive as CCTV is, I can't keep being reminded that it will be the headquarters of the Chinese media monopoly, which keeps popping a variation of Yakov Smirnoff's old chestnut into mind, "In American, you watch TV; in socialist country, TV watches you."