Steel Power

I just recently watched Discovery channel’s episode of Megastructures, featuring the Beijing International Airport, and I love it!

I’m really amazed on how the other countries progress in terms of their engineering technologies.Sometimes, I would imagine myself standing before a scene of a huge bare landscape – me wearing a yellow hard hat, and holding a piece of welded metal and witnessing other people driving bulldozers all over the place.It had always been my childhood dream, riding those engines, manipulating buttons, building bridges, riveting metals… constructing and deconstructing things literally (the later part is quite literary, *smirks) etc…

But it was just a childish dream, of course.

China, is perhaps one of the countries in the world today that is fast developing in terms of engineering, technology and industry.And fueled by the fact that they are going to host the Olympics this year, the country is now trying to keep up the deadline to do amazing megastructures.One of this is the Beijing International Airport – and it’s the biggest airport there is in the world! It’s really remarkable for its structure – I think its outline was like that of the dragon, and when you go inside the airport, the ceiling is a cultural manifestation of the Chinese red color! I’ve seen it all in the TV, and I was really drawn to it.Foster and Partners, an internationally acclaimed architectural firm, won the project, and they are almost finished with it.It was incredible because the architects and the engineers were able to overcome the natural hindrances while constructing this man-made marvel – they have to take into account possible earthquake attacks (considering that Beijing is center for those natural occurrences) and weather problems (storms, blizzards, whatever).I definitely love the way they made their concept of expansion joints – it supports the building as it shrinks or expands during temperature variations.It is a very crucial task, I see.

The airport-idea alone is not what constitutes the remarkable structure as a whole.First, it has a state-of-the-art baggage system, which the Siemens Company designed.It is notable for its convenient conveyor belts (I’m not that sure if this was the right term, however) that help deliver baggage to designated places.Unbelievable! It extends as far compared to any baggage systems in the world.

It has also grand glass train stations around the airport, to cope with loads of people that are expected to visit this Olympics.Veryincredible.

That episode made me realize the power of steel, and the power of creativity of one’s mind.It may seem too grand (and not to mention, really expensive), but it’s a showcase of man’s creativity beyond limits.

Very nice. J

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