By Rem Koolhaas and Ole Scheeren © OMA

A Three-Dimensional Loop of Interconnected Activities Promotes Collaboration and Solidarity Rather than Vertical Hierarchy and Isolation
Television Station and Headquarters
Competition 2002 (1st prize); Completion 2012
China Central Television (CCTV)
Beijing, China
20 hectares in new Central Business District
Total Project 599,000 m2; CCTV 473,000 m2
Administration 64,800 m2, Multi-purpose 54,900 m2, News Broadcasting 65,000 m2, Broadcasting 31,800 m2, Production Studios 105,400 m2, Public Loop 11,100 m2, Facilities 22,500 m2, Parking 59,700 m2

The CCTV Headquarters has become an icon for Beijing. Instead of competing in a futile race for ultimate height, the project proposes an iconographic constellation of two high-rise structures that actively engage the space of the city: CCTV and TVCC.

CCTV combines administration and offices, news and broadcasting, program production and services, and the entire process of TV-making into a single loop of interconnected activities. The consolidation of all TV production into a single building allows the 10,000 staff to be aware of the nature of their work and co-workers, creating a chain of interdependence that promotes solidarity rather than isolation. The building itself contributes to the coherence of the organization.

Two towers rise from a common production platform that is partially underground – one dedicated to broadcasting, and the other to services, research, and education – and join at the top to create a cantilevered connection for management and the public. While CCTV is a secured building for staff and technology, a dedicated path circulating through the building provides a public “loop” that allows visitors to learn and witness the process of TV-making while offering spectacular views across multiple facades towards the CBD, Beijing, and the Forbidden City.

With its vast and diverse network of broadcasting and production zones pulsating on a 24-hour news cycle; an internal circulation infrastructure that resembles a subway system (with express and local stops); and interlinked brain centers, nervous system, and a labyrinth of staff facilities; the building will behave much like a living breathing organism – the production of the virtual inhabiting the physical.

A new icon is formed, not in a predictable soaring tower, but in a three-dimensional experience of geometric and social continuity. The virtual assumes a physical identity and occupies a place and location, for itself, the public, the city, and, in a feedback loop, the virtual realm.

DESIGN ARCHITECT: OMA, Beijing / Rotterdam
EXECUTIVE ARCHITECTS AND ENGINEERS: ECADI (East China Architecture & Design Institute), Shanghai

STRUCTURE: Arup, London / Hong Kong / Beijing
BUILDING SERVICES: Arup, London / Hong Kong / Beijing
FACADE: Front Inc., New York
BROADCASTING DESIGN: ECADI, Shanghai and Sandy Brown Associates, London
LIGHTING: Lighting Planners Associates, Tokyo
LANDSCAPE: Inside/Outside, Amsterdam
VERTICAL TRANSPORTATION: Lerch Bates & Associates, London
SCENOGRAPHY: DuckS Sceno, France
ACOUSTICS: Dorsser Blesgraaf, Eindhoven
FOOD SERVICES: Romano Gatland, New York
BUILDABILITY: Stephen Scanlon, San Diego

STRATEGIC ADVISOR: Qingyun Ma, Shanghai
PHOTOGRAPHS SLIDESHOW: Iwan Baan, Kevin Ou, Ole Scheeren
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