Beijing caught me with an incredible diversity of architecture. As we went through a walking tour of the city I really began to notice this. At first, the city was built up in a horizontal manner. Tall buildings were not the norm, other than the symbolic bell towers and large standings like that. Even earlier than that, everything was based around the temples and emperor’s palaces. The towns were built out around this. Also, the architecture was much more ornate and of the typical “Asian” architecture style.Even the stuff that was built around the 1900s and such were more of the typical architectural style. We visited The Great Wall, and saw an ancient city around there. Once again, very typical of the ancient Asian style.
The modern parts of the cities were skyscrapers. The shift from horizontal to vertical buildings were complete. In some parts, it would have been nearly impossible to find a building that is less than five stories tall. What I did begin to notice, though, is that these skyscrapers and buildings could be a part of just about any city. There is no longer any type of architecture that makes it specific to Asia or Beijing. While the older buildings were types that you would not find in any other part of the world, we lose that sense of identity when it comes to these tall towering skyscrapers. When we build these skyscrapers and huge city complexes, which are necessary to make use of today’s needs for space; we are beginning to lose the specific identity of each city and space.
With this being said, I was blown away with the beauty of both of these sections–the old and the new. I was blown away almost equally. The beauty and serenity of the ancient city was one of a kind, and so amazing to experience. Equally, the incredible construction featured on the CCTV building was something like I had never seen before. As we globalize, we will see many more cities that resemble the modern ones from all over the world. How will we keep our sense of identity? We shall see. Time will tell!