Is that building abandoned?
How am I going to get in?
Under the gate? Over the fence?
Any doors or windows left open?
Many people have been asking Burbex recently how he finds his locations. Burbex is always cycling round the city keeping an eye out for new places to explore. Some of Burbex’s best sites have been discovered just by looking at a building and asking the question, “What’s on the other side of that wall?”
Usually the best locations are hidden in plain sight, like this fantastic location in Beijing’s trendiest neighbourhood – Sanlitun – right next door to a Lamborghini dealership.
The abandoned Babel Showroom was used to sell luxury apartments in The Babel Towers complex across the road. You can see the showroom in the bottom right hand corner of the artist’s impression above.
This showroom was made to impress. The central rotunda is made entirely from glass bricks, and has an elaborate chandelier which hangs over a model of the site.
The attention to detail is amazing. There are light fittings with no light and fireplaces with no fire everywhere.
Burbex though this lightshade looked a lot like The Starship Enterprise, but that might be overthinking it a bit.
Burbex thought these lightbulbs shaped liked Goldfish were an espcially nice touch. Sadly he broke his souvenir leaving the building.
Of course, everything here has been left to rot, and deceased plants lay like murder victims on the floor.
This palm looks like it was trying to make its escape, turned over the pot and died of thirst on the marble floor.
In among the pillars. Burbex found the golden logo of the complex. Not real gold of course, not even copper, just plastic like everything else.
The showroom apartments upstairs have been commandeered by a roving band of migrant workers whose underwear Burbex found hanging beneath the spiral staircase.
Burbex found a bar area featuring the same circular design as the rotunda.
Further inside a meeting room with a jet black fireplace and huge meeting table can be found.
The best part of the showroom is the bamboo gardens outside. Most of the doors have been left unlocked, so stepping out into the green light is easy.
Strange sculptures dominate a garden which cannot decide whether it is modern, classical, or Zen. Is this sculpture supposed to look like a cow pat?
The rotunda building can be climbed upon for great views of Sanlitun.
And a zen garden for those visitors who need a little quiet contemplation after the hustle and bustle of Beijing.
No urbex site in Beijing would be complete without its band of 老土包 or “country bumpkins” washing their undies and drying out roots and vegetables in the sun. Babel did not disappoint.
The bumpkins may have started a new religion, offering up a sacrifice of broccoli to the dark Babel obelisk.
The huge bronze-coloured gate, which the janitors use to get in and out, prevents the public getting a glimpse of the site, but Burbex always prefers the back way out.
In closing, Burbex was trying to recall his Bible classes at church. The Tower of Babel? Didn’t that fall down? Perhaps not the best name for a complex of luxury towers. Still, if they fall down more places for Burbex to explore.
By the the way, if you liked this site, or any of the other great leisure sites like The House That Never Dies or The Swiss Cheesy Village, be sure to drop Burbex a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and arrange a time to meet.