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World Cup

June 17, 2006

Football fever is upon us in Beijing with many options for viewing the matches. The time difference is a bit of a problem (I haven’t been able to stay up for the 3am games), but the fervor of local football fans makes the late nights more bearable. One of the finest places to watch the action has turned up in an unlikely spot: the central temple of Ritan Gongyuan. Ritan Park was originally built in 1530 as a place to offer sacrifices to the Sun God. Perched atop the raised altar where said sacrifices were once exercised, there now sits a large screen tv surrounded by plastic lawn chairs and Tsingtao vendors.

Andre, Eric and Shu enjoying the hallowed grounds.

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One of the best exhibits to show recently in Beijing was not a display of art per se, but a collection of the planning and presentation materials that have been produced by OMA over the course of the last few years in the process of bidding and developing the CCTV complex. One of the most interesting elements of the exhibit was a display of rough-hewn wooden blocks that, according to the accompanying text, were an early-stage model representing the 9 main volumes of the CCTV tower structure. The overall plan is inspired by the drawings of Giovanni Battista Piranesi from the mid 18th century, shown here in gray.

Detailed exploded diagrams, models and 3d video renderings made up the rest of the show, which will be traveling to MoMA in New York later this year.

Thanks to Andre for the live audio tour!

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