After two remarkable & intensive weeks in Beijing we returned inspired.
Beijing is a city where ancient culture and modern living exist side by side. China's second largest city by urban population, Beijing is one of the most populous cities in the world, with over 19.6 million. In this rapidly-changing nation, the pioneering spirit of a new China is manifesting itself in cutting edge design and architecture. Modernist mountain villas to high-rise condominiums, and from artistic retreats in former industrial buildings to refurbished courtyard homes, the array of lifestyle and design options in China is as varied as the country itself. The traditional aesthetic values of elegance, subtlety and proportion are still evident, but modern materials and techniques now form the cornerstones of new design movements.
798 art district
798 is located in the Dashanzi area, to the northeast of central Beijing. It is the site of state-owned factories including Factory 798, which originally produced electronics.
Beginning in 2002, artists and cultural organizations began to divide, rent out, and re-make the factory spaces, gradually developing them into galleries, art centers, artists' studios, design companies, restaurants, and bars.
It became a "Soho-esque" area of international character, replete with "loft living," attracting attention from all around. Bringing together contemporary art, architecture, and culture with a historically interesting location and an urban lifestyle, 798 has evolved into a cultural concept, of interest to experts and normal folk alike.
Ai Weiwei (born 18 May 1957) is a Chinese contemporary artist, active in sculpture, installation, architecture, curating, photography, film, and social, political and cultural criticism. Ai collaborated with Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron as the artistic consultant on the Beijing National Stadium for the 2008 Olympics. As a political activist, he has been highly and openly critical of the Chinese Government's stance on democracy and human rights. He has investigated government corruption and cover-ups, in particular the Sichuan schools corruption scandal following the collapse of so-called "tofu-skin schools" in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. In 2011, following his arrest at Beijing airport on 3 April, he was held for over two months without any official charges being filed; officials alluded to their allegations of "economic crimes" (tax evasion). In October 2011 ArtReview magazine named Ai number one in their annual Power 100 list. The decision was criticised by the Chinese authorities.
the Great Wall of China
Beijing is endowed with rare cultural heritage by its long history. The Great Wall, one of the world wonders and the only piece of man-made architecture that can be seen from the space, meanders through mountains and valleys for hundreds of kilometers in the region of Beijing
The Great Wall stretches from Shanhaiguan in the east, to Lop Lake in the west, along an arc that roughly delineates the southern edge of Inner Mongolia. The most comprehensive archaeological survey, has concluded that all the walls measure 8,851.8 km.
National Centre for the Performing Arts
the National Centre for the Performing Arts is described as The Bird's Egg, an opera house in Beijing, People's Republic of China. The Centre, an ellipsoid dome of titanium and glass surrounded by an artificial lake, seats 5,452 people in three halls and is almost 12,000 m² in size. It was designed by French architect Paul Andreu. Construction started in December 2001 and the inaugural concert was held in December 2007.
The exterior of the theater is a titanium accented glass dome that is completely surrounded by a man-made lake. It is said to look like an egg floating on water, or a water drop. It was designed as an iconic feature, something that would be immediately recognizable.
The dome measures 212 meters in east-west direction, 144 meters in north-south direction, and is 46 meters high. The main entrance is at the north side. Guests arrive in the building after walking through a hallway that goes underneath the lake. The titanium shell is broken by a glass curtain in north-south direction that gradually widens from top to bottom.
Green Tea House Living and Bathhouse Residence & Spa
Founded by musician, artist, tea-master and trend-setter JinR, GREEN T. HOUSE “Living” is a must visit when you are in Beijing.
It takes the brand further with a unique and spacious lifestyle destination that includes fine dining, art and a cultural events space as well as The Bath House Residence, a new bath and residence component which takes the GREEN T. HOUSE brand for the first time beyond tea houses and restaurants into the wider arena of spa and hospitality.
Situated on the outskirts of Beijing GREEN T. HOUSE Living occupies a bold, pavilion rising gracefully from expansive, terraced courtyards of white stone set in a vast 15,000 square metre complex in the high-end Wen Yu River quarter . The chic dining destination is famed for “T-cuisine” and embraces cutting-edge music performances, art exhibits, tea presentations and ceremonies, and creative events.
- Greg Fraser