This picture of Rem Koolhaas’ Mandarin Hotel going up in flames a couple days ago really resonates with me. The hotel was part of Beijing’s hyper-modern CCTV complex of building, including that crazy looking building next door.
It is a picture straight out of Blade Runner, a film that almost single handedly changed science fiction and our vision of the future. And now that future is here with us, and going up in flames.
It is interesting to note that the photo in the New York Times story holds none of this haunting resonance. It’s just a couple people laughing at a building burning down.