Changing China

Giant on the move

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A Cubist magic trick


The water cube

After years of seeing just a hole in the ground, then a mess of construction cranes, then mysterious activity going on behind barrier walls, yesterday I finally got to enter the Water Cube.

There’s no doubt that it’s impressive from the outside. The rectangular building is known for its transluscent facade that evokes giant soap bubbles and at night the whole thing glows in hues of blue, a warm beacon on the otherwise grey and beige horizon of Beijing.

Too many buildings impress from the outside but inside could be any other office block or stadium. Not so with the Cube.

Inside, its ceiling extends all the way up to the soap-bubbled roof, allowing in natural light and anĀ environment that avoids any cloying chlorine stuffiness.