The ‘Big Shorts’ of CCTV Headquarters, Beijing

Posted by // November 27th, 2012 // Architecture 2 Comments »

China Central Television is the state broadcaster for the People’s Republic of China. Its twenty-two channels are available to over one billion Chinese citizens and it also runs additional six international channels in various regions.

Its headquarters is located in the Central Business District of Beijing and was completed in May 2012, some eight years after construction started. Its façade was finished in January 2008 to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of C.C.T.V. however the remaining construction and internal fitting was delayed after a vicious fire in an adjacent building caused damage and slowed the process.

The Office for Modern Architecture firm, located in Rotterdam, designed the building with the project being led by founder Rem Koolhaus (best architect name ever?) and Ole Scheeren. The building stands at 234 metres and is fifty-four storeys high. It contains studios, broadcasting and production facilities and administrative offices. Originally the budget stood at five billion renminbi but because of the delay this is likely to have risen.

Sources: BriYYZ

Its unusual shape is created by two leaning towers (one fifty-four stories high and the other forty-four) meeting at the top via a cantilevered overhang that forms a bridge between the two. This gives it the appearance of a slightly warped loop with locals giving it the nickname of ‘big shorts’. O.M.A. explains that the reasoning for this was to provide an alternative to the traditional idea that a skyscraper is simply about height. This overhang section will house the administrative offices of C.C.T.V. and provide stunning views towards the Forbidden City.

Source: Ningbo Ningbo

2 Responses


     (post author)   says:

    It looks like the building is taking a crap on a giant invisible toilet.

  2. GoingUpTheStairs

     (post author)   says:

    As drawn by MC Escher?

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