Beijing contemporary architecture

CCTV Headquarters

The main structure just finished before the Olympics in 2008. But the building was only opened at the start of 2013. The building is housing the headquarters of state controled CCTV (China Central Television). CCTV Headquarters is not open to public and can be viewed from the street side. The adjacent building (CCTV - Television Cultural Centre) is currently (2011-2014) being repaired after it burned down in 2009.

Architect: OMA


Corner of East Third Ring Road and Guanghua Road

39°54'49.80"N 116°27'28.53"E View in google Maps


Station: Jintaixizhao
Lines: line 10 Jintaixizhao


Galaxy Soho

The building is build next to the busy West Second Ringroad.

Architect: Zaha Hadid

Beijing, China, west second ringroad.

39°55'9.95"N 116°25'36.56"E View in google Maps

Subway: Line 2 DongSiShiTiao

Taxi: Taxies are easy and affordable in Beijing
just point out the location on a map.


Site: Zaha Hadid Architects


The National Stadium

Probably China's most famous piece of contemporary architecture; the National Stadium nicknamed "The Birds Nest". The building can be approached closely without payment. Buy a ticket if you like to see the inside of the building.

Architect: Hertzog & de Meuron & Ai WeiWei


Lines: line 8 Olympic Sports Center


Beijing International Capital Airport (Terminal 3)

Specially designed for the Olympics by Architect Foster. Terminal 3 is located north-east outside of Beijing. Probably the first contemporary building you will see when arriving in Beijing. Routing,heating and lighting should be improved drastically in this complex it is a great building that is badly managed. The old Terminal 1 & 2 both located in one building is also still in use.

Architect: Foster & partners


North East of Beijing city

40° 3'14.19"N 116°36'30.23"E View in google Maps


National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA)

This egg shaped theater was build near the main entrance of the forbidden city. The use of materials of the interior are very similar to the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris.

Architect: Paul Andreu


South east of the forbidden city main entrance. Tian'anmen square

39°54'11.32"N 116°23'0.74"E View in google Maps


subway line 1 Tian'anmen West station (last train around 23.30 !)

It can be very difficult to get a Taxi out of this area you probably have to walk to a narrow side street to catch one.


National Grand Theater of China (Architect Andreu homepage)

NCPA homepage


Opposite House

One of Beijings most outstanding interior projects. The first floor doubles as a gallery and reception open to public except for the hotel section on the upper levels. "Mesh bar" at the first floor is a nice place to have a drink before you visit the basement where you can find a mediteranian restaurant and a bar.

Architect: Kengo Kuma


Sanlitun, The Village, building 1, 11 Sanlitun road

39°56'4.93"N 116°26'55.45"E View in google Maps


Subway line 10 Tuanjiehu station exit A, (make a U-turn when you get out of the subway and turn right at the crossing. Less then 10 minutes walk)

Take a taxi to Sanlitun.


Phoenix International Media Center

Pictures Sept 2012 and Nov 2011, Spectacular doughnut shaped building on the south west corner of Chaoyang Park.

Architect: BIAD UFo


Beijing, Chaoyang park / Block 8

39°56'0.04"N 116°28'3.73"E View in google Maps


Block 8 is in a bit of dead-zone for subway access. Take a taxi or walk for 15 minutes from:

Subway line 10 Tuanjiehu station exit D, (walk east for about 15 minutes it is on the busy road cannot miss it)


Linked Hybrid (MOMA phase 2)

Located at the north-east corner of the second ring road. Mixed use building mainly offices and apartments and some bookshops,café’s and a cinema. Free to visit, it is possible to walk along galleries that link the towers. Ask around to find the hidden entrance. The complex is also known as "MOMA phase 2" named after it's development company.

Architect: Steven Holl


1 Xiangheyuan Lu, Dongcheng District, NE corner of the 2nd ringroad.


39°56'56.98"N 116°25'53.45"E View in google Maps


( Taxi for easy access )

line 2 Dongzhimen (exit B walk north along the 2nd ring to Xiangheyuan Lu )

line 13 Dongzhimen.


Parkview Green

This Building claims to be the most Ecological and sustainable building. It is large and incorporats retail shops, restaurants, Art Galeries a Luxury hotel and office spaces.

Architect: Integrated Design Associates


No. 9, Dongdaqiao Road.
Chaoyang District

39°91'79.72"N 116°44'34.45"E View in google Maps


( Taxi for easy access )

Line 1: Yong’anli Station, Exit A, then walk north for 15 minutes.

Line 6: Dongdaqiao Station, Exit A, then walk south for about 400 meters.


Commune by the Great Wall

Located north of Beijing on route to Badaling Great Wall. If you want to visit this resort make an appointment with the management company (see website). There is one valley with the original designs by the well known architects.The adjacent valley contains multiple downgraded copies of the originals. Visit early to avoid Beijing’s traffic jams.

Architect: Shigeru Ban,Kengo Kuma and others




National Aquatic Center

Located next to the National Stadium is the National Aquatic Centre aka "Water Cube". At the end of 2010 the building was renovated and became a tropical swimming entertainment centre. If you like to have a look inside you need to buy a ticket.

Architect: Collaboration of multiple design companies


Beijing, Olympic park

39°59'29.25"N 116°23'2.45"E View in google Maps


China National Film Museum

This museum is hard to reach it is located between the airport and city center. Shows all you want to know about Chinese (propaganda) movies. Large interiors with complicated shaped and oversized spaces.

Architect: Creative Designers International


中国电影博物馆, 9 Nanying Road, Chaoyang Distric

39°59'41.76"N 116°30'53.03"E View in google Maps


Taxi (Beware that it can be very difficult to get a taxi out of this area,
walk some distance to more busy roads with taxi's.)

010 - 843 55 959 let the driver call for directions


CAFA Art Museum

Located on the premises of China Central Academy of Fine Arts near the North entrance. Isosaki designed this museum with his favourite stone cladded curved skin.

Architect: Arata Isosaki


No.8 Hua Jia Di Nan Street, Chao Yang District

中央美术学院, 北京市朝阳区花家地南街8号 中央美术学院美术馆

39°58'58.09"N 116°27'32.86"E View in google Maps


Taxi (the museum is located within walking distance North of IKEA)

call 86-10-64771575 let the driver ask for directions.


Go Where restaurant (aka "Where to go")

(!Demolished! in 2011, the area is developed into a large restaurant complex.) Small restaurant serves Chinese food. Walls constructed from slabs of cement board and glass.

Architect: FAKE Design (Ai Weiwei)



Sino-Italian Ecological and Energy Efficient Building (SIEEB). Located on the university campus of Beijing Tsinghua University. A building designed to educate and showcase possibilities for energy-efficient building, particularly in regard to CO2 emissions.

Architect: Mario Cucinella & Milan Polytechnic


1 Qinghuayuan, Haidian District
Part of the Beijing Tsinghua University campus.

39°59'48.25"N 116°19'42.92"E View in google Maps


Subway line 13 Wudaokou station (West exit).
Keep walking to the West and the Beijing Tsinghua University will be on your right hand side. Turn right before the Microsoft office tower.


Jiaolou Business Hotel

A random pattern of brickwork is combined with Chinese style "broken ice" patterned iron work. This symbolic frozen water pattern supposed to help protect a building against fire. The grey brick used here is similar to that of Hutong buildings in this area. I took this picture before it was covered with a lot of advertisements. As from 2011 most Hutong and this part of Beijing are being demolished and replaced by modern interpretations of Hutongs.

An example of where Beijing is heading with its new Hutong interpretation can be found south of Tian'AnMen square. A large shopping street (Qianmen Street) with many Chinese and global brands represented. Unlike a real Hutong you will not find any residential buildings there.

Architect: Unknown by me.


North-East corner of Forbidden city wall (in fact the First Ring Road)

39°55'22.33"N 116°23'49.69"E View in google Maps


Taxi (North-East corner of Forbidden city wall)


Renovation Fuxinglu No.B59-1

This office building is a renovation project. The glass skin is molded around an existing stripped down housingblock. The project is called "The Renovation Project of Fuxinglu No.B59-1" Just finished when i visited (2006). At the time the interior was bare concrete to be filled in by future owners.

Architect: Li Xinggang


Station: Subway line 1 Wanshoulu station exit A (walk east along Fuxing Lu)