Architecture Replaces Authority On Chinese Currency

[AP photo via Daylife]

Just how popular is Beijing’s Birds Nest? The Herzog & de Meuron designed stadium has replaced Mao Zedong on China’s 10 Yuan note. Unfortunately, the change is only temporay, with a limited edition of six million bills thrown into circulation. So save ’em for eBay or wait for the mythological Freedom Tower to show up on the U.S. $10 bill and start a construction and currency collection.

(Excuse any wonky formatting on this post. Life Without Buildings is iPhone-ing it in live from jury duty today. Justice!) UPDATE: Justice Served!

9 replies on “Architecture Replaces Authority On Chinese Currency”

Lol, I love the update.

It’s really interesting how much of an icon the birds nest has become. I’ve seen images of rural areas in China, even, making miniature birds nests (though, by miniature I mean house sized) out of bamboo or similar material, pretty much only to show their national pride. Olympics on its own was a big deal, and I think the Birds nest really represents the nationalistic spirit at the time.

I have to wonder if this building will be a flash in the pan, or if it will have the timeless recognition of other world monuments.

In 50 years from now, will the Birds nest be Beijing’s Eiffel Tower?

Hong Kong’s notes are the same, except they are issued by three separate banks who choose their own motifs! So there are bills that are of the same denomination but have the Bank of China, HSBC or Standard Chartered buildings on them.

We also have bills with lions, bridges, tourist destinations and the airport.

@Spencer: I think the stadium’s potential status as a timeless icon will all depend on what happens to it during the next few months.

@grover: The airport on currency? How amazing would it be to see Saarinen’s TWA terminal on a US bill?

This is incredible! The model for the “Bird’s Nest” is going to be at the Cincinnati Art Museum in Oct. I was excited about seeing that but now I need to get ahold of one of these yuan notes!

Awesome info! I was honestly just thinking about something similar to this the other day so, it was almost “weird” when I ran across this. You would be surprised how many people simply have no idea when it comes to this kind of stuff. Anyway, thanks for getting this info out there and I’m sure I’m not the only one who appreciates you taking the time to post this for the masses.

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