National Geographic Channel International Commissions NZ company NHNZ for Megastructures China Special

National Geographic Channels International has commissioned three China-focused Megastructures (3×60’) programmes as part of its May China Special from New Zealand production company NHNZ.

The Great Wall and Forbidden City stand as some of China’s ancient architectural masterpieces. But now, it is her modern Megastructures like the Shanghai World Financial Centre, Yangshan Port and the Beijing Water Cube that are capturing the world’s imagination today. Offering viewers exclusive access as these modern-day triumphs are being built, Shanghai Super Tower, China’s Ultimate Port and Beijing Water Cube show off a new, thriving China.

“China is leading the way in architectural innovation”, said Sydney Suissa, Executive Vice President of Content for NGCI. “These Megastructures episodes showcase ideas that stretch higher, delve deeper and beautifully marry engineering with art, securing their place as 21st century icons”.

NHNZ managing director Michael Stedman said as the preeminent producer of documentaries made in and about China, NHNZ was thrilled to team up with NGCI for the Megastructures China series.

“We’ve forged strong links in China and Asia over many years. Our dedicated China team is committed to bringing China’s stories to the world. As a result of this investment and our long established credibility within China’s film industry, NHNZ is privileged to enjoy unrivalled access to some of China’s most fascinating institutions and people, shooting in rarely seen locations for global audiences”, he said.

In Shanghai Super Tower, viewers witness the building of the Shanghai World Financial Centre – the tallest building in mainland China, soaring more than 500 metres into the sky. In China’s Ultimate Port, viewers are taken 30 kilometres off the coast of Shanghai, where one of the world’s largest construction projects is being built in the middle of the ocean. Beijing Water Cube offers an astounding look into the construction of the official Olympic aquatic centre for the Beijing 2008 Olympics – an almost surreal honeycombed structure built from steel and plastic.

Megastructures: Beijing Water Cube – Tuesday May 13, 2008 at 9:30pm NZ

In Beijing a building like no other has emerged. It is a bold experiment in architecture and a cutting-edge vision of construction eco-engineering. When Beijing hosts the 2008 Olympics the eyes of the world will be riveted on this building. Its official name is the National Aquatics Centre but in the world of mega-architecture it is reverently known as the Water Cube. It’s a brilliant fantasia of steel and plastic – a honeycomb of 22,000 steel beams supporting pillows of high tech plastic inflated onto shimmering translucent bubbles. Go behind the scenes to learn more about the vision that saw the creation of a building destined to become one this century’s leading architectural feats.

Megastructures: Shanghai Super Tower – Tuesday May 20, 2008 at 9:30pm NZ

What do you get if you take sixty thousand tons of steel, 260,000 cubic meters of concrete, 2000 dedicated Chinese workers and the best design brains in the business? The Shanghai World Financial Centre. At 101 floors high it will not only be the tallest building on the Chinese mainland but one that can withstand the toughest challenges Planet Earth can throw at a skyscraper… and even deadlier human threats.

Megastructures: China’s Ultimate Port – Tuesday May 27, 2008 at 9:30pm NZ

In 2002, Chinese engineers and workers tackled one of the biggest construction projects on Earth. Thirty kilometres out to sea, in the middle of the ocean is the location for Yangshan Deep Water Port. With twenty kilometres of quay and fifty berths, Yangshan is destined to become the biggest deepwater port ever built. Linked to China by the world’s second-longest ocean bridge, Yangshan’s deep water allows the world’s biggest container ships to come calling. Its massive cranes, cutting-edge control system, and focused personnel are already shattering records for loading and unloading gigantic container ships and it’s not even finished being built.

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