After years of contemplating expansion options in Beijing, a unique site in a most fantastic area (by our standards) became available. Construction began in May 2014, with an opening scheduled for early 2015. This is an active construction site at the moment, so pictures and commentary will go up in a fairly delayed fashion..  But please stay tuned, and feel free to email us any questions or comments along the way.

A big view

That was quick. Overnight the newest and best built building has fallen down. We now own a lot of red bricks which will certainly have a place in the new structure. All that remains to be done with the old building is level the base of the southern half of the property by 0.5 meters and take apart the south-west room. Once that is done, we can pull down the fake outer wall, taking with it the neighbouring restaurant’s micro-warehouse. We are leaving that until the last moment for ultimate surprise effect.

For now, revel in vast openness of The Orchid and the awesome destruction which has taken place in less than one week.

There once was a building here. Now the wall supports all the electrical boxes until we learn where else to put them..

Youngcall and Siu Ming standing in the future garden along the southern edge

This yellow wall and doors is all that keeps the restaurant staff at bay. Since we left the door open for a few minutes a couple of old dishwashers have wandered in to watch. 25 meters beyond the door is the main road.

Such a big yard

In the blink of an eye, the entire mid-section of zijianfang, the junky and poorly constructed buildings not actually registered on the title deed have disappeared. In their place are one giant pile of bricks, old fully greased-up kitchen finishings, worthless nicknacks sitting in center of the yard, and four whole truckloads lying either in the main hutong road or by now trucked far outside the city.

Still one and a half destruction jobs to go. The city is going through some political changes this week as two of the wealthier inner-city districts eat up two of the poorer ones while all the heads of these new mega districts get replaced. As a result, three days of special inspections are taking place, which will prevent people like us from moving rubble outside our property until each evening. It isn’t supposed to make much sense, but maybe it is supposed to slow us down.

Still — hopefully by Monday we will cross the bridge towards bringing bricks in, rather than out.

No cameras

Unfortunately we had hoped to have live feed of everything posted on our main page. Couldn’t get that working so we resorted to frequent surveillance cam updates. Still, we put up the wrong camera and the footage was worthless. Perhaps we’ve given up on showing much photo evidence of the destruction process and have set our sites on getting things working for the full construction… we’ll see.

For now maybe we will get some photos thrown up soon from regular camera or two.

Where to strike

The first question we get nowadays is ‘how much work will you do on the place??’.

Outlined with fancy Chai labeling below is our current layout showing the buildings that stand right next to the red shaded buildings that will no longer be in 10 days time.

Somehow, in that short time period 30 trucks will be required to come into the city and move out all the garbage and rubble. I suppose the answer to the above question is: A lot of work.

What a mess!

So if you’ve made it this far, you know it’s true. All of this is happening within 10 hours. You also might know that this will soon be a hotel. However, if you look really closely… extremely closely — you simply notice a big mess!

If you had spent a good part of the year wandering through hundreds of other properties like this, these messy areas with laundry strewn about wouldn’t weaken the imagination one bit. As a result, it’s always the same problem of an incredible let-down during each visit by friends in the last few weeks. Without any of us try to add to the hype, the sheer fact that we have selected this site means that we are more than impressed by it. So when someone makes a visit, they have to try hard to conceal their amazement of our delusional insanity.

It is not insanity though, it is a highly effective algorithm for predicting financial success based on the total area of the property combined with the accurate position of the stars.

Thank Eva for the photos: