Recently I interviewed and moved across the country for a job in Annapolis, Maryland! It was quite a big move, but it couldn't be a better time and opportunity to try something new. I start work at Alliance Architecture in downtown Annapolis. The firm does a lot of corporate interior work along with some core & shell, residential and even some restaurants. It's a great opportunity at a growing firm and I'm excited to have this opportunity!
Before flying back to the states, we made one last stop in Beijing. I was able to see a bunch of sites I had seen before, but this time at night. We revisited Olympic Park (Bird's Nest + Water Cube), The Great Wall of China, Tienanmen Square, Forbidden City, Opera Hall, etc.
It was great spending one last day in Beijing before heading home. It was an amazing summer with an amazing end. Can't wait to go back some day!
Spending only three days in Shanghai is no where near enough time...but we squeezed as much in as we could. Among the sites we made sure we saw include the Shanghai Art District, People's Park, Shanghai Urban Planning Exposition, The Historic Bund, Shanghai World Financial Center, Jin Mao Tower, the new Shanghai Tower, etc., etc. At night, we checked out the water front with roof top clubs with spectacular views of new, modern Shanghai. What an incredible city and a definite re-visit for me; probably my favorite city while in China.
After Xi'an, we flew to the Sichuan city, Chengdu to see a real Chinese Metropolis. In Chendu is the recently completed largest building in the world ringing in at 1.7 million square meters. The New Century Global Center is 100m tall with a footprint of 400m x 500m. The building is comprised of a 400,000sq meter mall, indoor water park and beach, hotels, an IMAX theater, university campus, office space, a Mediterranean Village, etc.
Beyond the extreme architecture, Chengdu has some incredible, spicy Sichuan food! After only being here for 24 hours, it's time to go to Shanghai for the second-to-last leg of the trip.
We flew to Xi'an for a total of 36 hours so we could see the Terracotta Soldiers and explore this ancient capital city of China. We stayed inside the old city walls at an International Hostel and took the opportunity to eat and shop at the Muslim Quarters pedestrian street, check out the Bell + Drum Towers, and meet some other international travelers. Before the Terracotta Soldiers, we checked out the factory where they hand carve, paint, and restore old and new soldiers. Once at the site, we checked out the three "pits" containing the discovered soldiers, originally buried to protect the dead emperor in the afterlife. After they were discovered by a farmer digging a well in the 1980's, the original terracotta color quickly started to fade. In order to stop this process, they covered a majority of the soldiers back up until they can come up with a solution to the discoloration.
One of my favorite cities and a definite place on my list to re-visit...but next time, I'd recommend more than 36 hours!
We couldn't spend a month in Datong without doing some site-seeing. Before leaving we visited the Hanging Temple in the mountains outside the city of Datong.
Part of the exciting of Solar Decathlon is getting to see 20 other teams' efforts coming to fruition along side of ours. It was incredible to see the extreme range of home designs, technological advances and cultural differences between the 20 teams comprised of 30-some universities and over 17 countries.
Below are photographs of some of the homes I toured while on the SDC site:
Team PKUI has officially completed our home for the Solar Decathlon China 2013 competition! Etho is finally completely outfitted in its bamboo and zinc cladding, zinc roofing and a custom perforated zinc image wall that lights up at night with LED strip lights. The final push for the house has resulted in a more exciting final product than any of us even imagined.
I will continue uploading pictures of the house when I get a chance to take some higher quality images including the interior and more exterior shots. The team is finally well rested and ready to take on competition week full of dinners, movie nights, public and private tours as well as taking some time to enjoy the city of Datong! Please follow our team this week on our public facebook group: facebook.com/etho.pkui and feel free to ask any questions you may have!