Beijing Orbital

[Image: “The northernmost, barren reaches” of Beijing’s 6th Ring Road. From Wikipedia].

In a recent interview with, British author Iain Sinclair mentions that he hopes to begin a project called Beijing Orbital:

When I was in Stavangar in Norway at one of these strange conferences, I saw a presentation by an assistant of Rem Koolhaas which was about the China TV building he’d built. He showed this virtual version of a city with seven orbital motorways just spreading out from the centre of this very traditional city into the desert, and the incredible pieces that were going up. I thought my god, it will be amazing to travel around these seven orbital motorways. Of course, that is relatively attractive to be made into a film. I think it will be reasonably possible to get a commission for that, which may also become a book. It will also involve me doing a lot of other things – circling round China as to what China means to different places in Europe, in the sense of Fu Manchu or people being drowned in Morecombe, all these stories, before I even embark on a journey to the place itself.

Maybe BLDGBLOG will beat him to it. Interested funders be in touch.

6 thoughts on “Beijing Orbital”

  1. That section of the interview brought me back to a project I thought about writing about Houston, prototypical city of loop highways and shopping malls.

  2. Artist Ai Weiwei has beaten us to it, at least partially, and definitely conceptually. He has created a book and a series of videos two of which cover the Beijing Ring Roads (two and three).
    Another of his videos cuts through Beijing “horizontally” by following Chang’an Avenue (Mao’s famous urban intervention) from agricultural fields, to power plants, through the CBD and Tiananmen Square and off to the other “edge”.

    See the link:

    comment from Mary-Ann Ray

  3. It is just astounding just how far we are able to bring modern architecture these days. I thought you maybe interested in the upcoming exhibition in Cincinnati, "China Design Now", it goes right into new chinese architecture, design, and fashion. I already have a copy of the catalog… OMG, incredible!!
    check it out:

    This link below is the actual Art Museum's link for the exhibition:

    Very cool Blog Spot , BTW!!!

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