Beijing National Stadium
It isn't often that a building defines a city, and even becomes its icon, but that seems destined to be the case of Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron's National Stadium in Beijing, the primary site of the 2008 summer Olympic games. The stadium is a stunning attraction, a woven-basket form that seems to have grown organically on the edge of town like an enormous mushroom, or, as the locals have called it, a bird's nest. Lit up in colors at night, the crosshatched latticework façade announces the city as a capital of the 21st century.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.