CCTV Headquarters in Beijing officially completed in construction 4 years after early opening back in 2008


The construction of the iconic building that is famous for architectural marvel and engineering breakthrough has finally came to an end with official completion today after so many years. The construction of this highly-acclaimed and also badly-reviewed building started way back in 2004 so that it would be completed right on time in conjunction with Beijing 2008 Summer Olympic Games.

Things don’t go on the easy way or in the scheduled track;  the engineering milestone of the building contributes to never-ending problems in the construction. Hence, by 2008, only the exterior of the building is completed with the interior not ready for use yet. An official opening ceremony of the building was still organized in 2008 to give an impression to the public that things go on as planned, but indeed the building would never be ready until years later.

Even before the building is officially completed, the structure had already left a bold impact to the visual of the skyline of city of Beijing, the capital of China. Its appearance is unique and I had the opportunity to see the building myself in 2009 on a trip to Beijing that year. My first impression of that building is ‘wow!’…’what a cool building!’. For your information, the building is designed by OMA, with the primary architect being the famous Rem Koolhaas. The design combines the entire process of TV-making – formerly scattered in various locations across the city – into a loop of interconnected activities. That is why it is a skyscraper of loop as perceived by the public.

Rising from a common platform, two towers lean towards each other and eventually merge in a perpendicular, 75-metre cantilever. The cantilever is the main feature of the building and also the main aspect that gives headache to engineers most probably. The structure of the CCTV Headquarters, and the forces at work within it, is visible on its façade: a web of diagonals that becomes dense in areas of greater stress, looser and more open in areas requiring less support. The façade itself becomes a visual manifestation of the building’s structure. Rem Koolhaas commented: “I am very happy, after years of intense collaboration, that the CCTV building will soon begin to perform its role in the way it is intended.”

Finishing touches are given to the iconic 44-storeys building today that stands tall at 234 metres. It is officially completed today, four years after its first opening back in 2008. Well, the building is only fully ready for London 2012, and not for Beijing 2008. Haha…By the way, it is reported that the building would only truly be opened for use by end of this year. Still have to wait if you want to enter the building. I think it would be fascinating not only from its exterior appearance but also from the interior. Wow, look at the picture below. I can see through what’s down there from inside of the building. That would be a little scary.

(All the images and some information from this post are from http://www.archello.com/en/project/china-central-television-cctv-headquarters)

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