Beijing, China
3 November 2014

When China lobbied to host the Summer Olympics Games in 2008, it spent US $42 billion in hopes to put the country on world stage, giving birth to some of today’s modern architectural marvels:

1. The National Aquatic Center (a.k.a Water Cube)

Located in what is now referred to as the Olympic Green, the National Aquatic Center was constructed as the main in-door swimming pool for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.  The unique structure design got its inspiration from soap bubbles that come together to form a 12 or 14-sided cell structure.

Stretching for 177 meters square and 30 meters high, it holds a capacity of 17,000 seats which served as the main venue for several water sport events: swimming, diving, synchronized swimming and water polo.

Today, the Water Cube is used to hold multi-functional center for sports, recreation and fitness. It has also drawn local and foreign tourists alike to watch the light shows at night when its outer structure changes color in all seven different hues.

It will also serve as one of the venue for the 22nd APEC Summit in Beijing.

2.  National Stadium (a.k.a Bird’s Nest)

It boasts as China’s new icon at the opening of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. With its striking design which said to utilize advance geometry, it draws its inspiration after the Chinese-style “crazed pottery”.

Covering a gross floor area of 254,600 square meter, with seating capacity for 91,000 including 11,000 temporary seats, it offers the audience a clear sight lines which brings them closer to action.

3. Olympic Forest Park Observation Tower

This is Beijing’s latest addition in China’s Olympic Forest Park which was recently completed in March 2014.

Reaching 243 meters tall, the tower overlooks several tourist spots: Beijing’s Forbidden City, Tienenmen Square, Mao Tse-Tung’s mausoleum, the Qianmen Gate, Drum Tower and Bell Tower. It was also installed with a full 360-dgree range of vision that makes viewing events from long distance possible.

Since its completion, it has become Beijing’s largest structure to date.

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