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Beijing's burnt Mandarin Oriental still stands

Back in early February 2009, fireworks during the finale to the annual Spring Festival/Chinese New Year celebration sparked a fire that quickly “engulfed one of the Chinese capital’s most architecturally celebrated modern buildings.” The nearly completed 32-story, 241-room Mandarin Oriental Hotel was designed by famous architect Rem Koolhaas.

James Fallows points out over at The Atlantic Monthly that the burned out hotel still stands in Beijing looming over the city like something out of the dystopic future of a science fiction novel. Fallows writes, “Sometimes structures in big Chinese cities appear — or disappear — practically overnight. Other times, they sit for a very long period in limbo. I’m not sure of all the reasons why the hotel has this frozen-in-time aspect, but it’s startling whenever I see it.”

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