for all the architecture lovers on the board: just saw a wonderful documentary about swiss architects herzog & de meuron and their work in china, building the new national stadium in beijing and planning a city in another town.
it was fascinating seeing their work process, how they develop an idea. they wanted a structure that would work for chinese people, and not just a (huge) piece of western architecture smack in the middle of china. they worked in collaboration with chinese artist ai weiwei, and uli sigg (chinese art collector, former swiss ambassador to china), who both serve as sort of cultural consultants and advisors of sorts. the film follows the process from initial concept to almost complete construction of the stadium, the challenges dealing with the chinese government and construction companies, etc. the other story of the film is their other project, an entire district of Jinhua, with shops, schools, residential buildings, sports venues - basically an entire neighbouhood.

here's the trailer:


and the official site:
BIRD'S NEST Herzog & de Meuron in China – swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron - the Olympic Stadium in Beijing by Herzog & de Meuron - a film by Christoph Schaub and Michael Schindhelm – Birdsnest Film – Information – Summary

really good documentary about two amazing architects. i was expecting they would be arrogant assholes but they are both surprisingly down-to-earth and cool.