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Beijing on the brink

The world's architects are pouring into China's capital to join the 21st century's defining urban project.

By Deyan Sudjic   November 2003

Yung Ho Chang’s studio in Beijing looks just like any other aspiring architect’s office. The walls are white, the floor is bare concrete, and there are rows of twentysomethings sitting hunched over their computers. There are cardboard models everywhere and an avalanche of magazines in the corner. But as the California-educated Yung Ho points out, Beijing isn’t like anywhere else.

Cruise round Beijing’s first ring road and you pass the chrome-trimmed glass of the Grand Hyatt hotel, its forecourt fluttering with red flags – a vision of Canary Wharf after the revolution. You pass high- rise banks topped with pagoda…

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