Title: Beijing, Forever - Code: a7436
Contest: Beijing / 2014
By: Kenneth Sit

Views: 2259 Likes: 0


Greg Lynn 4
Ai Weiwei 3
Sou Fujimoto 3
Eric de Broches des Combes 5


Beijing, Forever



“Without water we are nothing, the traveller thought. Even an emperor, denied water, would swiftly turn to dust. Water is the real monarch, and we are all its slaves.” – Salman Rushdie / Water shortage in the capital of the Arid North is a dire problem that puts everything at risk. Beijing’s dependence on it for agriculture, industrial, and domestic usage is causing great concern as to whether it can continue to sustain as a city when water levels and supply are dropping significantly. With the population consistently swelling and a shortage of water supply to meet its demand, Beijing is closer to becoming paralyzed. Geographically, Beijing sits between two rivers, the Yongding River to the West and Chaobai River to the East. Since 1997, Yongding has become too polluted to use as potable water thus its remaining usage is for irrigation and industrial. With the loss of one river system, it has given great stress to solely rely on Chaobai River. In addition, the groundwater levels and reservoirs that serve Beijing have been significantly dropping due to change in climate and poor water management. The government has taken great measures to rectify this problem by transferring water from neighbouring provinces. Plans of constructing great pipe lines that stretch as far as 1,200km and desalination plants to collect and transfer water is a hope that it will solve the water scarcity issue that Beijing faces today. The proposal envisions the capital at the brink of extinction with its inability to sustain its inhabitants anymore. Plans of piping water from far distant places and the use of desalination plants have failed due to unreliabaility, costly upkeep, and heavy energy use resulting in greater wide-spread pollution. Water has become a luxury for those that can afford it. Many people have no choice but to leave the city for a better place. The metropolis stands in stillness as it slowly is eaten by drought and the dry desert. The authorities who are left, as its last frontier, refuse to be defeated. The capital is the very core of the country and its city image is emblematic of its legacy, authority, and power. With sufficient resources at their disposal now, they choose to remake the city as an oasis sheltered from drought and pollution that once plagued the capital. By beginning to salvage and consolidate all of Beijing’s important relics and great buildings, it reaffirms Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City as its center and creates a formidable enclosure to protect the new city from pollution and drought. The shell they create also protects their treasured relics, so that deterioration and decay of their buildings will be minimized. New boundaries are made by branching out from the center encapsulating what it wants to preserve and crossing existing urban fabric at the shortest path of resistance. The new Beijing is lush with life and people from all around the world will come to remember Beijing’s splendor and glory. Its history, stories and city eternalized and continues to be professed. Long, live, Beijing.


Title: Beijing, Forever

Time: 29 settembre 2014
Category: Beijing
Views: 2259 Likes: 0

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