Architect Rem Koolhaus and his firm the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (Rotterdam) won the competition (in 2002) set for the design and construction of a new complex for the CCTV’s new headquarters to be completed in time for the Beijing Olympics. The design was/is so spectacular that the Museum of Modern Art in New York created an exhibit around it in 2006, already a phenomenon in architectural circles, to address the preconceived notions surrounding the building of a tower with the magnitude this has. “It’s a fiendishly complex building in terms of program and structure,” Mr. Koolhaas said in a quote from a 2006 New York Times article about the exhibit.
Construction began in 2004 and the famous right angle cantilever at the top of the building was joined in December of 2007. Reaching their goal of finishing by the time of the scheduled Olympics in Beijing began to look not only possible but plausible.
Several flickr accounts have begun taking images with regularity to keep us updated as to the construction’s progress. Then on May 31st, Nike got the jump on the Olympics when it projected the introduction of China’s Golden Athletes Olympic suits against 4 of the building’s columns giving us a small glimpse of what is soon to come at the same time realizing the imaginations of those who created the sci-fi worlds of Blade Runner and the Fifth Element. For more stills and to see Nike’s eerie video go here.
Meantime the 5 million square foot complex is more than an astral projection….
The CCTV project also includes a second building that will house a five-star hotel (bldg left of CCTV) with 300 rooms, restaurants and spas, recording studios and a 1,500-seat theater. This structure, the Television Cultural Center or TVCC is, as described by the architects, the public component of the project and was to open ahead of the larger headquarters in 2007.
Also as reported by the New York Times, China’s television network will be capable of broadcasting 250 channels when the headquarters is completed. CCTV currently produces and broadcasts just 16 channels. For more information about the building and interior drawings visit OMA’s official website.