China Central Television Headquarters by OMA



Office for Metropolitan Architecture have completed the cladding on their CCTV building in Beijing - just in time to release this image ahead of tomorrow's Olympic Games opening ceremony.


The building is a new headquarters and cultural centre for state broadcaster China Central Television.

The following information is from OMA:


China Central Television Headquarters construction reaches new milestone as façade is completed

The final panels of the glass facade of OMA’s CCTV building have been installed, marking a crucial stage in the construction of the new TV station for China’s national broadcaster, designed by Rem Koolhaas and Ole Scheeren.

Construction of the 600,000 square meter project began in September 2004 on the 20 hectare site of an abandoned motorcycle factory in Beijing’s new Central Business District. After connecting the two leaning towers in December 2007 and topping out structural steel works this March, the CCTV building is due for completion end of 2009, whilst the adjacent Television Cultural Centre (TVCC), including the hotel operated by Mandarin Oriental is expected to open early next year. The third building on the site, the circular service building, is in operation and is presently being used for broadcasting of the Olympic Games.

OMA partner in charge of the project Ole Scheeren said from Beijing: “After 6 years of intense collaboration with our client CCTV, our Chinese partners ECADI, and the engineers of ARUP, we are very pleased to see the successful completion of the exterior of the project on time for the Olympics. As the building now stands visibly in the city, it has added the three-dimensional figure of a loop to Beijing’s skyline of towers. It appears big yet sometimes small, and from every angle offers a completely different perspective and reading. We are hopeful to see the building emerge as a symbol of collaboration and change.”

Once completed, the CCTV building will transform the usually inaccessible environment of media and television production and give access to the public via the ‘Visitor’s Loop’, a dedicated path of circulation, which allows people to view and experience multiple aspects of the production process. The lowest floor of the overhang, the large cantilever projecting out 75 meters horizontally in 162 meters height, will feature a public media museum and a viewing deck with sights across the city and vertically down through circular glass floor openings.

The facades of CCTV portray the irregular geometry of the building’s steel structure. Its sometimes dense, sometimes more open grid of diagonals forms the stability system of the building and reflects the distribution of forces that the structure experiences under different load conditions.

The construction of the buildings is led by Ole Scheeren from OMA’s Beijing offices, along with project manager Dongmei Yao, project architects Anu Leinonen and Andre Schmidt, and a team of dedicated architects.

Posted on Wednesday August 6th 2008 at 11:26 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • kudz

    ok, thats the same image twice…ehhh…danke schoen…i guess thats your way of saying it looks better the 2nd time you see it

  • Michael

    Who had the bastardized Tribune Building Competition variant built in the foreground? I would love to see the details for the roof carousel. CHEAP.

  • texxeen

    awfully clear skies in beijing, this pic must have been taking right after a rainfall. – looks better than the H & de M’s, birdnest cage fight. The birdnest renderings looked great, but the actual finished product came out too grey, indifferent to the Beijing skies.

  • One

    I am presantly surprised the way the buildig came out! it looks like a building which is rather,… less grotesque, than how it may have appeared in the previous computer rederings. The facade patterns are finer therefore making the building appear more as one theme, loop.

    Funny to see that this building actually contains a cerculation for a public to experience the TV production process in side the loop tower. If it were ay of the famous OMA project this particular effort was shown on facade as well. Like Dutch embassy… This decision,… is there aything to do with anything?

  • Roel

    Seeing the building finished from the outside, I am really intrigued by the shape: it is such a strong shape. As written in a review somewhere, the building has a very good sculptural quality. It draws your attention, while it does not scream too much for it imo.

    The fact that it is only finished from the outside – being an empty shell – is a good symbol btw for the games in China: all about showing off, but skin deep.

  • wicky

    Building looks fine, but not being the best of OMA, I guess they are trying to be as ordinary and as generic as possible recently?
    and I am quite surprised by the way people discriminating and misunderstanding Chinese, seriously, grow up please.

  • lecorbusier


  • ivan

    It seems that the building needs more space infront of it. Is it a mistake in placing the building right in city plan?

  • Mark V

    I am particularly pleased with the facade. The distortion of the structural diamond grid being based on the structural needs of the building, much more dense at the intersections and less so away from areas of strain, gives a real honesty about how the building really works. Quite nice.

  • Roel

    2Wicky> The comment above was more on the Olympic Games in general than on China specifically. I agree with you that there recently seems to be almost a hype to bring China down. The ‘West’ being too arrogant towards China: as if we are so correct on everything.

  • Aryan

    Think it opens a new chapter in contemperory Architecture…
    Would be interesting to know how the verti. transpotation been worked out

  • One

    I like that the loop just sticks itself out of the Beijing City. i like that there is no demonstration square preopared for the Red Army to march on.

    The thing is, instinctively speaking, I look for the asociation, the reason why OMA manifest loop on China. Certaily it could have (NOT) been eslewhere to have building realised, to have this building shape materialised. …?

  • helen

    Strangely it fits in with the tall building to the right. Love the loop concept and I’m sure there is much more to it than that. Having said that I have to admit that it looks (in this one photograph and the others I’ve seen) pretty dreadful to me. And when I say that I mean it looks impenetrable, foreboding and altogether terrifying. Just keeping it real. I love Rem’s work for the most part. I’d like to see how the plaza works, how it meets the pedestrian, before I give a final judgment …which I’m sure OMA is just dying to hear!

  • the big black & white zebra

    I think I am missing something – everybody is saying this is the best building since bird’s nest soup…

    Can’t see it myself – awkward and ugly. OK, I don’t have time to go deeeeeeepppp, so your gonna have to help me out…. PLEASE!!!

    What’s with all the wierd, unatractive, disjointed, ugly and not even sublimely engrossing glazing patterns….

    What is up, what, what, what?

  • floyd landis

    Gosh Mr. Koolhaas you are just the most super creative architect ever. How come all of your buildings are so horrible. Maybe you should channel your super brilliant brain into making something that relates to human scale, it’s context, it’s site and it’s environment.


    one thing I respect about OMA is the way they can organize complex building programs such as building for the China Central Television Headquarters… when you study the internal organisation of this building, it’s quite a masterpiece to make such an interesting building on such a small building site… even though I don’t like the look of it that much, this is nice and decent architecture… welcome to 2008…

  • Roel

    2 the big black & white zebra> The ‘glazing patterns’ you are referring to is actually part of the construction. They started with an even pattern on the building and changed it depending on the load it must carry. Hence the pattern is more dense at the corner where the overhanging starts for example.

    2 One> In the documentary ‘Rem Koolhaas, a kind of architect’, Cecil Balmond said that Koolhaas called him at night just saying he wanted a loop for the CCTV building. I think this was more a ‘solution’ for the normally vertical skyscraper, than a specific answer to the location.


    It looks strange with surroundings. Big cities in China now developing mixed architecture. I feel nothing even OMA’s building is awesome itself.

  • Berliner

    I am positively surprised, that the project does not play out its monumental formal character. It actually looks rather humble for such an in-your-face-form. They really did not fall into the trap of monumentalizing it. Even the choice of a rather matte glass gives it something less aggressive, less obvious compared to the glitz context. I think it looks better, than what the renderings were anticipating.

  • zuy

    it’s arc de Triumph of what?

  • the big black & white zebra


    It still looks ugly, not sublime or beautiful, disjointed, uneasy, awkward and unbeneficial to urban life….

    explain why you think this is a positive building for our urban environment.


  • zuy

    I saw yesterday the grand canyon platform..and .i have the vision of this TV building that dominates a city of old houses with people living as yesterday!!!!

  • spooki

    its sooo goofy(!), almost cartoony, and look at how it dwarfs the surrounding buildings. i feel like its a big joke.

    and yes big black i agree, its looks far to chunky and ultimately too stable to suggest sublime!

    and i dont understand why the diagrid squiggles at the top? it looks naive.

  • wonderful

  • gweedo

    last saturday Koolhaas held a lecture in Milan which i attended to, the subject of his lecture was “architecture now, and future architecture”, he basically forecast a comeback to simple shapes and more functional less expensive, no-frills buildings.
    showin some of OMA’s concepts for future projects, developed in this direction.

    someone asked why this recent CCTV HQ building, with his odd shape, goes against what emerged durin the lecture as Koolhaas’ current outlook on contemporary architecture….

    he replied sayin that CCTV HQ building was conceived “for this particular moment in chinese history”, as a statement of creative freedom, something that could cause a change in the way china sees creativity nowadays…

  • Amezing! How can they do?

  • Quentin
  • sweers

    hey landis – you need more testosterone injections. rem your ugly is some of the best ugly going. look around floyd.