The Modern Face of China

China is one of the oldest nations and cultures in the world, and though the ancient structures, the natural landscapes all provide an unforgettable view, the modern face of China is not to be dismissed either. The unusual, interesting towers and bridges, squares and buildings all reflect a remarkably innovative mind. After thousands of years of strict tradition and in surmountable rules driving the whole society, it seems that the most populous country in the world is ready to show us something new and remarkably modern. The buildings listed below are only mere examples of the amazing creativity of the 20th and 21st century Chinese mind. So here is the face of modern architecture in China.


photo by Annie Wang

One of the most contemporary buildings of China are its towers all across the country. The Oriental Pearl Tower in Shanghai was built in 1995 and with its dome spheres is the symbol of architectural excellence. The Dragon Tower in Harbin and the Tianjin TV Tower are very much the same with its tall structure and a crown-like viewing hall, except the latter is taller. The Guanghzou TV & Sightseeing Tower with a revolving restaurant and city-viewing decks is a slim and twisted tower. The most unusual structure of them all is perhaps the CCTV New Tower in Beijing, which looks like two L-s connected with each other. It is a symbol of architectural innovation.


The bridges of China also reflect its contemporary aspect, the following ones being built between 1955 and 2009. Wuhan Yangtze River Bridge is the oldest modern bridge and was the first to connect the two banks of the River. Furthermore, the Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge was the first one to be constructed without any help from foreign experts. The first bridge built to cross the sea in China is Donghai Bridge, though the same sea-crossing structure, the Hangzhou Bay Bridge, built in 2008, is the longest of the two.


photo by Martin Svalin

The most modern squares in China can be found in Dalian, each of the three more unique than the other. Haizhiyun Square hosts 26 super-realistic sculptures and is surrounded by sea from 3 sides. Xinghai Square is one of the largest in Asia with a center that resembles a star. People Square is the former Stalin Square and now the home of Dalian’s government buildings. At the confluence of the Jialing and Yangtze River in Chongqing, the largest roof-square in the whole country is Chaotianmen Square. You get a beautiful view of the rivers from there.


Public Buildings

Beijing and Shanghai show best China’s modern aspect. The Beijing National Stadium is a

photo by Bernt Rostad

unique structure which resembles a bird nest, the Beijing National Aquatics Center, on the other hand looks like a water cube. The National Center of the Performing Arts, also known as the National Grand Theater of China is an egg-shaped building surrounded by water. It gives an unbelievable sight lit up at night. More to the south, in Shanghai, the unusual sight of the Shanghai World Financial Center greets the visitor, while the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall on People Square gives an insight into the imaginative minds of modern-day architects.

Just as the ancient buildings, the new and contemporary structures can provide a breathtaking view of imagination. The culture of this land is so colorful, that the modern face of China should also be considered one of its unique aspects.

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