|Alternative names||China Central Television Headquarters|
China Media Group (CMG) Office Block at Guanghua Road
Central Chinese Television Tower
|Location||East Third Ring Road|
|Construction started||1 June 2004|
|Completed||16 May 2012|
|Owner||China Media Group|
|Management||China Media Group|
|Roof||234 m (768 ft)|
3 below ground
|Floor area||389,079 m2 (4,188,010 sq ft)|
|Design and construction|
|Architect(s)||Office for Metropolitan Architecture|
East China Architectural Design & Research Institute
|Developer||China Media Group|
|Structural engineer||Ove Arup & Partners|
|Main contractor||China State Construction and Engineering Corporation|
The CCTV Headquarters serves as the headquarters for China Central Television (CCTV) formerly located at the old China Central Television Building some 15 km (9.3 mi) to the west. Feted by architecture critics as perhaps "the greatest work of architecture built in this century"  and awarded the 2013 Best Tall Building Worldwide from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, the 51-floor skyscraper on East Third Ring Road, Guanghua Road in the Beijing Central Business District (CBD). Groundbreaking took place on 1 June 2004 and the building's façade was completed in January 2008. After the construction was delayed by a fire that engulfed the adjacent Television Cultural Center in February 2009, the headquarters was completed in May 2012 and was officially inaugurated in June 2013.
Background and Critical Reception
Architecture critics claim that "Mr. Koolhaas, of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture, has always been interested in making buildings that expose the conflicting energies at work in society, and the CCTV building is the ultimate expression of that aim," thus giving rise to "the slippery symbolism of its exterior." The main building is not a traditional tower, but a loop of six horizontal and vertical sections covering 473,000 m2 (5,090,000 sq ft) of floor space, creating an irregular grid on the building's façade with an open center. The construction of the building is considered to be a structural challenge, especially because it is in a seismic zone. Rem Koolhaas has said the building "could never have been conceived by the Chinese and could never have been built by Europeans. It is a hybrid by definition". Because of its radical shape, it is said that a taxi driver first came up with its nickname dà kùchǎ (大裤衩), roughly translated as "big boxer shorts". Locals often refer to it as "big pants".
The building was built in three buildings that were joined to become one and a half buildings on 30 May 2007. In order not to lock in structural differentials, this connection was scheduled in the early morning 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.
The Office for Metropolitan Architecture won the contract from the Beijing International Tendering Co. to construct the CCTV Headquarters and the Television Cultural Center by its side on 1 January 2002, after winning an international design competition. The jury included architect Arata Isozaki and critic Charles Jencks. It is among the first of 300 new towers in the new Beijing CBD. Administration, news, broadcasting, and program production offices and studios are all contained inside.
CCTV Headquarters went on to be feted by architecture critics as perhaps "the greatest work of architecture built in this century,", and was awarded the 2013 Best Tall Building Worldwide from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.
An adjacent building in the complex, the Television Cultural Center, caught on fire, ignited by fireworks on Lantern Festival day, 9 February 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 theater, two recording studios with three audio control rooms, a digital cinema and two screening rooms. The 160-metre-tall (520 ft) Mandarin Oriental Hotel was badly damaged and one fire fighter was killed. The director of the project and 19 others were imprisoned. On 25 October 2009, scaffolds were set up in the front gate of CCTV which indicated the renovation of the building had begun. As of 9 February 2010, the main CCTV tower was still unoccupied.
Media buildings in Beijing
- China Media Group Headquarters (former CCTV headquarters)
- Central Radio & TV Tower
- Beijing Television Cultural Center
- Beijing TV Centre
- Phoenix Center
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- Paul Goldberger (30 June 2008). "Forbidden Cities: Beijing's great new architecture is a mixed blessing for the city". The New Yorker. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
- Lecture by Ole Scheeren from the OMA, Design Academy Eindhoven, 17 October 2007
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- Sky Canaves (9 February 2009). "China Prepares to Salvage CCTV Tower". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
- CCTV Project Site
- Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) Project Site
- China Central Television (CCTV) Headquarters Building & Cultural Centre, Beijing page for the engineering firm ARUP
- Consulting services performed by RWDI
- CCTV Headquarters selected images Archived 24 August 2019 at the Wayback Machine