Part of Beijing Airport Roof Takes Flight – China Real Time Report – WSJ

Part of Beijing Airport Roof Takes Flight – China Real Time Report – WSJ

It’s supposed to be the planes that take flight, not the airport itself, I would think…

Shao Weiping, executive chief architect of Beijing Architectural Design and Research Institute, which worked with Foster & Partners on the project. Speaking to the China Daily, he said the damage could be the result of pieces improperly supplied or installed:…”this could be more of a quality-related issue” – [Masterblog Note: No, really? in China? You don’t say!!]

The company that runs the airport refused to comment on the roof, according to the newspaper, saying they didn’t construct the building but were only using it[!!!]

One of the designers of Beijing’s massive airport blamed poor materials, not its underlying architecture, for damage to its symbolic Terminal 3 on Tuesday.

Terminal 3, with its signature sloping roof and 1.3 million square meters of floor space, was designed by architects at Fosters & Partners, and its stylized glass exterior is often the first image of China that awestruck foreignERs get on their initial visit. The terminal therefore is often held up as an example of how quick hard-charging China can get things done. General Electric Co. Chief Executive Jeffrey Immelt reportedly once said that it calls into question which nation — the U.S. or China — is the developing nation.

But China’s fast development has led in cases to cut corners and lax safety standards, putting many of its signature developments under a new light.

Terminal 3 turns out to be no exception after the state-run China Daily reported that part of the terminal’s roof was ripped open by a strong wind on Tuesday. “Dear Tom Friedman, how’s ‘be more like China’ working out these days?” wrote one wag on Twitter, referring to New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman and his generally high regard for Chinese infrastructure projects.

Not so fast, says Shao Weiping, executive chief architect of Beijing Architectural Design and Research Institute, which worked with Foster & Partners on the project. Speaking to the China Daily, he said the damage could be the result of pieces improperly supplied or installed:

“While architects designed the general look of T3, suppliers made special designs to makesure the metal panels used on the roof could resist strong winds,” he said.

“The metal roof technology used to build T3 was a mature one that has stood tests for more than 20 years,” he said, adding he personally believed that this could be more of a quality-related issue.

The company that runs the airport refused to comment on the roof, according to the newspaper, saying they didn’t construct the building but were only using it.

China Daily said Tuesday incident was the second instance of wind damage, with gusts also damaging the roof in December. That roof damage combined with delays elsewhere, led to a slew of flight delays and cancellations. The airport said Tuesday’s damage didn’t lead to flight delays.

–Carlos Tejada. Follow him on Twitter @CRTejada

Read the story here: Part of Beijing Airport Roof Takes Flight – China Real Time Report – WSJ

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