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Showing posts with label Architecture. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Architecture. Show all posts

Monday, July 2, 2018

Looking Across Victoria Harbour from a High Place

Posting has been intermittent lately, but I plan to return to a more regular schedule soon. For now, here is a view from Hysan Place in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, looking northward across Victoria Harbour:

view from Hysan Place in Hong Kong looking northward across Victoria Harbour


More later . . .

Sunday, June 10, 2018

A View from Below of Three Guangzhou Towers at Night

The previous two posts included photos of the Chao Tai Fook (CTF) Finance Centre, Guangzhou International Finance Center (IFC), and the Canton Tower in Guangzhou. The most recent post referred to some below-ground-level urban planning. So to pull everything together, here is a photo capturing all three of the tall structures taken last night from an open section of the mostly underground Mall of the World.

CTF Finance Centre, IFC, and Canton tower viewed from an outdoor area at the Mall of the World

Thursday, June 7, 2018

A Taller Tower in Guangzhou's Clouds

The previous post, "The Two Towers of Guangzhou", featured a photo of two skyscrapers reaching into the clouds at night. The building on the left is the Guangzhou Chao Tai Fook (CTF) Finance Centre and the building on the right is the Guangzhou International Finance Center (IFC). They are sometimes referred to the East Tower and West Tower, respectively. The CTF Finance Centre is the taller of the two and is currently the third-tallest building in China and seventh-tallest in the world.

But the title for most iconic tower in Guangzhou probably wouldn't be awarded to either of these buildings and instead go to the Canton Tower. It isn't counted as a building, but it is even taller than CTF Finance Centre and is the fourth-tallest freestanding structure in the world.

I took the photo below of the Canton Tower shortly after the previously shared photo from a location just feet away. The scene was especially remarkable to me because the view was unusually clear thanks to genuinely good air quality.

Canton Tower in Guangzhou at night


I would say the big story related to these towers isn't their heights but closer to ground-level, including below it. A story of urban planning for another day . . . 

The Two Towers of Guangzhou

two Guangzhou skyscrapers in the clouds at night

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Eighteen Scenes from Historical Jiefang Road in Yunfu

Many of the buildings which line Jiefang Road as it winds it way through central Yunfu are indicative of some of the city's history. In nearby cities such as Zhongshan and Jiangmen, a few similar historical roads have in part been turned into popular pedestrian streets. Yunfu doesn't appear to have any such grandiose plans at the moment, though the city government has proposed renovations to this "living fossil" (reference in Chinese).

The series of photos below capture scenes beginning on Jiefang East Road, moving westward to Jiefang Middle Road which passes by Martyr's Park, and then onto Jiefang West Road towards the road's end near Pingfeng Hill, which appears in two of the photos. Many of the scenes include buildings with historical architecture. And many capture some of the life at the old street on two recent weekday afternoons.


Jiefang East Road (解放东路)

woman pushing a baby stroller on Jiefang East Road in Yunfu


small vehicles on Jiefang East Road in Yunfu


Jiefang Middle Road (解放中路)

people walking on Jiefang Middle Road in Yunfu


scooters on Jiefang Middle Road in Yunfu


Jiefang Middle Road in Yunfu


building with historical architecture on Jiefang Middle Road in Yunfu


Jiefang Middle Road in Yunfu


Jiefang West Road (解放西路)

man riding motorbike on Jiefang West Road in Yunfu


Jiefang West Road in Yunfu


dog and a woman pushing a baby stroller on Jiefang West Road in Yunfu


Jiefang West Road in Yunfu


bikes on Jiefang West Road in Yunfu


pharmacy on Jiefang West Road in Yunfu


man unloading a van on Jiefang West Road in Yunfu


Jiefang West Road with Pingfeng Hill in the distance in Yunfu


Jiefang West Road in Yunfu


man looking at his mobile phone while walking on Jiefang West Road in Yunfu


old buildings on Jiefang West Road in Yunfu

Monday, March 26, 2018

Scenes from Two Sections of Baisha Road in Jiangmen

One section of Baisha Road (白沙路) in Jiangmen has a much older feel than other sections. Below are four photos capturing a bit of the life on that stretch this afternoon. For a contrast, the fifth photo captures another section of Baisha Road.

Some people may question whether this is all really Baisha Road. A later post will highlight some of the apparent disagreement on that issue.


section of Baisha Road in Jiangmen with older buildings


section of Baisha Road in Jiangmen with older buildings


school children walking on Baisha Road in Jiangmen


people walking on Baisha Road in Jiangmen


section of Baisha Road in Jiangmen

Monday, December 18, 2017

Elevated Arches in Wuhan

I'm hoping to soon return to posts with a bit more text in them. For now, here is another scene from the capital of Hubei:

Zhongbei Road, including an elevated section with many arches over it, in Wuhan
Zhongbei Road near Han Street

Monday, December 4, 2017

A Time of Change and Digging at the Gude Temple in Wuhan

Even after visiting hundreds of Buddhist temples in China, the Gude Temple in Wuhan can catch you by surprise. According to a photo gallery featuring the temple on the Hubei Provincial People’s Government's website:
It was built in the 3rd year of Emperor Guangxu (1877) in the Qing Dynasty.

The present Great Buddhist Hall was built in 1921 and later was expanded into Gude Temple, which covers an area of 20000 square meters and has a floor space of 3600 square meters.

The Gude Temple was built according to style of the Alantuo Temple in Myanmar in an erratic combination of all thinkable architectural styles and traditions, being unique in construction of Buddhist temples in China’s hinterland.
I wouldn't describe the location as being in China's hinterland, but I agree the architecture is unlike any other temple I have seen in China. My recent visit was made all the more special thanks to work affecting much of the temple's grounds — reminiscent of the construction I walked through when I visited the Changchun Taoist Temple in Wuhan six years ago.

Below are some scenes which feature some of the change now occurring at Gude Temple as visitors still make their way around. The temple is easily reachable by going to Toudao Street Station on the Wuhan Metro and then walking down Gudesi Road. But that might not work in the not-too-distant future. Many of the areas near the temple are changing to a greater degree.


excavator moving a tree at Gudesi Temple



excavator moving a tree at Gudesi Temple



monk and workers at Gudesi Temple in Wuhan



excavator and truck at Gudesi Temple



excavator at Gudesi Temple



excavator at Gude Temple



excavator at Gude Temple



Gude Temple (古德寺) in Wuhan

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Perspective on a Old Tower in Wuhan

Hongshan Pagoda (洪山宝塔) in Wuhan, China


In 1291 somebody climbed many steep, narrow, and irregular stone steps to reach the highest level of the Hongshan Pagoda in Wuhan, China. More than 700 years later somebody else did the same.

But only one of us is still alive today.

*   *   *

Now that I've confirmed my continued existence, at least up until the time I post this, I will add that, yes, I am now in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province. There is an immense backlog of posts I have been wanting to write, but I have been heavily preoccupied with the exploration / collection side of things lately. Also, the amount of change I have seen in Wuhan, Changsha, and elsewhere has left me wanting to digest things more fully.

So on that note, here is a photo of the Hongshan Pagoda taken by Frederick G. Clapp sometime between 1913-1915:

black and white photo of Hongshan Pagoda


And here is a recent view from the tower including the Baotong Temple:

view from the Hongshan Pagoda in Wuhan

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Juzizhou Bridge: A Return to Changsha, Hunan

As recent posts suggest, I am now in Changsha, the capital of Hunan province. I arrived here while the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China was underway. Coincidentally, I was also in Changsha five years ago during the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. At that time I experienced great difficulty using my VPN to get through the Great Firewall and access online sites blocked in China. This time I have had a far more online positive experience. I have not had any additional unusual problems since those I experienced almost three weeks ago in Zhongshan, Guangdong.

When I mentioned some of the internet challenges I faced five years ago, I shared a photo of Changsha's Juzizhou Bridge. A year later, I shared another photo of the bridge, this one from the western side of the river at night. Although a subway line below the river now matches its path, the bridge remains an important link across the Xiang River while also connecting Tangerine Island (Juzi Zhou) to both sides. Below is a fresh series of eight photos taken north of the bridge from the eastern side of the river. The colors may seem a bit off, but they are in part a result of something that hasn't changed much in Changsha since I first visited the city over 8 years ago — heavy air pollution. All of the photos include Tangerine Island, which blocks the view of the shoreline on the river's other side where the most easily visible buildings stand. In addition to people on and below the bridge, vehicles crossing the river, and ships passing by, the sun descends from one photo to the next, eventually to be partially hidden by Yuelu Mountain.

two people under Juzizhou Bridge (橘子洲大桥) in Changsha



ship and Juzizhou Bridge (橘子洲大桥) in Changsha



buses and people on Juzizhou Bridge (橘子洲大桥) in Changsha



two boats approaching Juzizhou Bridge (橘子洲大桥) in Changsha



ship approaching Juzizhou Bridge (橘子洲大桥) in Changsha



man under Juzizhou Bridge (橘子洲大桥) in Changsha



buses crossing Juzizhou Bridge (橘子洲大桥) in Changsha



sun setting behind Juzizhou Bridge (橘子洲大桥) in Changsha

Monday, October 16, 2017

The Morpheus Hotel in Macau: Architecture Filling a Void with Voids

The MGM Cotai casino resort won't be the only building with a creative contemporary design to open in Macau early next year. A pair of connected towers under construction nearby will be the fifth hotel at the City of Dreams casino resort. The structural steel exoskeleton of the Morpheus already stands out amongst the neighboring towers.

City of Dreams casino resort in Macau including the new Morpheus hotel


The building was designed by the late architect Zaha Hadid, the first woman recipient of the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize. According to the City of Dreams website:
Inspired by jade artifacts, Morpheus is a sculpture, mysterious and intriguing in its unconventional architectural composition. A series of voids gives it complexity and volume, a unique appearance as well as exciting internal spaces. Its two towers are connected at the podium levels and the roof, and there are two additional bridges for guests to experience the external voids within the building.
A few different perspectives from ground level on the north side of the building highlight the irregular patterns formed around the hard-to-miss voids:

north side of the Morpheus hotel at City of Dreams in Macau


north side of the Morpheus hotel at City of Dreams in Macau


north side of the Morpheus hotel at City of Dreams in Macau


A City of Dreams video from several years ago more fully reveals the building's design from a wide range of perspectives not available to your average passerby:



And a Kyotec Group video from half a year ago shows some of the building's actual construction without any android-like simulated humans walking around:



Near the top of one of the nearby towers at the City of Dreams is the Count:Down Clock, which appears in the upper right of this photo:

Count-down clock at City of Dreams in Macau


The clock not only counts down to the opening of the Morpheus but also the reveal for the rebranding of the round tower, formerly the Hard Rock Hotel. The hotel there currently uses the placeholder name The Countdown.

In an interview for the Macau Tatler, designer Maarten Baas shared some of the inspiration for the clock, the latest edition for his “Real Time” series:
For this project, obviously we wanted to do something with the theme of counting down. Yet, there are plenty of ways to count down. The first thought was to make it look like real people were each individually making a digit. There are digits for hours and digits for minutes. So some digits have to go very fast, while others only change every 100 or 1,000 hours. So there was this contrast between the activities, which I liked. I gave them all a black suit, as if they are chic servers of time, similar to personal butlers. I was also inspired by the luxury lifestyle in Macau.
Inside Asian Gaming posted a brief video showing a little of how the clock counts down with the help of recorded actors:



So before the middle of next year, the Morpheus with its impressive voids will open and another hotel at the City of Dreams will have a new name. More surprises may be in store as well. The Count:Down Clock hits zero on April 1.