After many setbacks, Rem Koolhaas's "reinvention of the skyscraper" is nearly ready to open.
OMA announced this week that construction has been completed on the Central China Television (CCTV) headquarters in Beijing, concluding an eight-year building period that saw numerous setbacks, delays, and even a fire. The project, the firm’s largest to date, was overseen by Rem Koolhaas and former OMA partner Ole Sheeren and designed to represent a “reinvention of the skyscraper”, where the historical clamor for height is altogether ignored in favor of a ‘loop’ model of interconnected activities.
The 473,000 square-meter complex, which will open later in the year, will house offices, studios, and broadcasting and production rooms that, according to OMA, “combines the entire process of TV-making” into one central, iconic form. The tell legs of the tower lean progressively inwards as they rise in the air, before being connected by a 75-meter wide cantilever.
Commenting on the day’s event, Koolhaas stated that he was “very happy, after years of intense collaboration, that the CCTV building will soon begin to perform its role in the way it is intended.” When the competition was opened for the tower design contemporaneously with that of the World Trade Center, the architect famously directed his team to work to focus on China, citing in his so-called “Bejing Manifesto” the country’s rise as global power and the opportunity to realize an innovative that would “lead the world into a digital future.”
Top image courtesy Jim Gourley
This post originally appeared on Architizer, an Atlantic partner site.