TEx T: TANYA KÖNIG PHOTOGRAPHY: PETER CARNEY
One of the world’s oldest cities is also one of its youngest. China’s capital, Beijing, has seen a lot: It was the seat of the Khitan and the Mongols, and today it is home to the Communist Party of China—as well as a playground for an array of international star
architects. Beijing is a city that is constantly redefining itself.
“The most beautiful thing in Tokyo is McDonald’s,” wrote Andy Warhol
in 1975. “The most beautiful thing in Stockholm is McDonald’s. The most
beautiful thing in Florence is McDonald’s. Beijing and Moscow don’t
have anything beautiful yet.” In 1992, five years after Warhol’s death,
McDonald’s opened its largest branch in Beijing, seating 700. Like so
many things in Beijing, this has already passed as well—the building
was torn down.