CCTV – Headquarters, China, Beijing

The CCTV headquarters aims at an alternative to the exhausted typology of the skyscraper. Instead of competing in the race for ultimate height and style within a traditional two-dimensional tower ‘soaring’ skyward, CCTV’s loop poses a truly three-dimensional experience, culminating in a 75-metre cantilever. The building is visible from most of Beijing; it sometimes comes across as big and sometimes small, from some angles strong and from others soft.

CCTV’s form facilitates the combination of the entire process of TV-making in a loop of interconnected activities. Two towers rise from a common production studio platform, the Plinth. Each tower has a different character: Tower 1 serves as editing area and offices, and the lower Tower 2 is dedicated to news broadcasting. They are joined by a cantilevering bridge for administration, the Overhang.

The innovative structure of the building is the result of long term collaboration between European and Chinese engineers to achieve new possibilities for the high-rise. The forces at work within the structure are rendered visible on the façade: a web of triangulated steel tubes – diagrids – that, instead of forming a regular pattern of diamonds, become 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.

The self-supporting hybrid facade structure features high performance glass panels with a sun shading of 70 percent open ceramic frit, creating the soft silver-grey color that gives the building a surprisingly subtle presence in the Beijing skyline.

The 10,000-square metre main lobby, in Tower 1, is an atrium stretching three floors underground, and three floors up. It has a direct connection with Beijing’s subway network, and will be the arrival and departure hub for the 10,000 workers inside CCTV headquarters. Connected to the lobby, 12 studios (the largest is 2,000 square metres) perform the main function of the building: TV making.

The CCTV headquarters also facilitates an unprecedented degree of public access to the production of China’s media: a Public Loop takes visitors on a dedicated path through the building, revealing everyday studio work as well as the history of CCTV, and culminating at the edge of the cantilever, with spectacular views towards the CBD, the Forbidden City, and the rest of Beijing.


Completion: 2012
Competition: 2002
China Central Television (CCTV)
20 hectares in new Central Business District
CCTV total 473,000m2: administration 64,200 m2, multi-purpose 54.900m2, news production 65,800m2, broadcasting 31,800m2, program production 105,400m2, staff facilities 30,000m2, parking 61,500m2. Service Building 15,000m2
5 billion RMB (€850 million)

Tower 1
Height: 234m, 54 floors. Footprint: 40x60m, 2,400m2

Tower 2
Height: 210m, 44 floors. Footprint: 40x52m, 2,000m2
Overhang bottom
162m, 14 floors
Overhang cantilever
75m to the west, 67m to the south
Base height
45m, 9 floors, footprint 160x160m
-18m, 4 floors

Partners in charge:
Rem Koolhaas and Ole Scheeren (until 2010), David Gianotten in collaboration with Shohei Shigematsu, Ellen van Loon and Victor van der Chijs.
Project Manager:
Yao Dongmei
Project Architects:
Anu Leinonen, Charles Berman, Adrianne Fisher
Chris van Duijn, Hiromasa Shirai, Steven Smit, Gabriela Bojalil, Joao Bravo Da Costa, Catarina Canas, Holly Chacon,  Dan Cheong, Keren Engelman, Gaspard Estourgie, Kam Fai Tai, Fang Tieying, Feng Pei, Sarah Gibson, Chris James, Michel van der Kar, Paul Kroese, Peter Lee, Liu Xiaodong, Stuard Maddox, Joseph Monteleone, Christina Murphy, Shiro Ogata, Roberto Otero, Daan Ooievaar, Torsten Schroeder, Shi Wenchian, Faustina Tsai, Jasmine Tsoi, Wang Xinyuan, Victoria Willocks, Wu You, Xu Tian Tian, Dirk Zschunke

With: Jeffrey Bolhuis, Georg Bucher, Johannes Buchholz, Paul Burgstaller, Max Burianek, Tim Callaghan, Gonzalo Laurentiu Coceanga, Guillaume Colboc, Pedro Costa Gama, Dorthee Dietz, Melissa Dowler, Lodewijk van Eeghen, Rodney Eggleston, Steffen Ell, Mamen Escorihueles, Joris Fach, Joao Gomes Branco Teodosio, Hendrik Gruss, James Harper, Yiannis Kanakakis, Suse Koch, Lawrence Leung, Li Guilin, Menno van der Meer, Rodrigo Nunez Carrasco, Florian Pucher, Beatriz Ramo Lopez, Max Rink, Beatrice Schiavina, Max Schwitalla, Manuel Shvartzberg, Arianna Spaccasassi, Antonio Teles Branco, Laurent Troost, Loy Tsao, Steffie Wedde, Wang Yunzhu, Yu Long

Support: Lisa Aalders, May Yan Fan, Li Dan, Liu Aoshuang, Liu Yonghong, Sun Yongzhen, Ou Qiang, Wang Yimeng, Wang Yu, Wu Xinghua, Xu Yi, Zhang Yajuan

Competition Team: Rem Koolhaas, Ole Scheeren, Shohei Shigematsu, Alain Fouraux, Fernando Donis; with Adrianne Fisher, Anu Leinonen, Hiromasa Shirai, Tammo Prinz, Catarina Canas, Erez Ella, Victoria Willocks, Johannes Buchholz, Guillaume Colboc, Mamen Escorihuela, Sarah Gibson, Shiro Ogata, Torsten Schroeder, L. E. Tsao, Zhaohui Wu, Yimin Zhu


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s