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CCTV Headquarters

Beijing, China
1 of 12

This building is under construction in Beijing, and marks the centerpiece of what hopes to be a 300 tower central business district in Beijing. Rather than go into details, I'll distill why this design is so important: It marks one of the first buildings that aim to defy gravity without overtly proclaiming it. In effect, it's one of the first buildings that is a physical manifestation of a video game building (which can obviously be any shape it wants because it doesn't have to follow laws of gravity)

The CCTV Headquarters is a skyscraper in the Beijing Central Business District. The building is the headquarters of China Central Television. Groundbreaking took place on September 22, 2004 and the building was completed in December 2008. Rem Koolhaas and Ole Scheeren of OMA were the architects for the building, while Arup provided the complex engineering design. It stands at 234 metres (768 ft) tall and has 51 floors.

The main building is not a traditional tower, but a continuous loop of six horizontal and vertical sections covering 381,000 square metres (4.1 million square feet) of floor space, creating an irregular grid on the building's facade with an open center. The construction of the building is considered to be a structural challenge, especially because it is in a seismic zone. Because of its radical shape, it has acquired the nickname da kucha (大裤衩), meaning "big shorts".

The building was built in two sections that were joined to complete the loop on December 26, 2007. In order not to lock in structural differentials this connection was planned to be completed at the coldest time of night when the steel in the two towers cooled to the same temperature. The CCTV building was part of a media park intended to form a landscape of public entertainment, outdoor filming areas, and production studios as an extension of the central green axis of the CBD.

An adjacent building in the complex, the Television Cultural Center, caught on fire, ignited by fireworks on Lantern Festival day, February 9, 2009, before the building's scheduled completion in May 2009. It was to have the Beijing Mandarin Oriental Hotel, a visitor's center, a large public theatre, and exhibition space. Its shell remains visible from the main intersection of the new Central Business District through the window of the main CCTV headquarters building. The building is currently being rebuilt.

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krazin, June 9th, 2017
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