The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Thursday, January 24, 2019

Loved, hated, and much-delayed China TV tower by architect Ole Scheeren to open next year
Smoke from a fire rises near the fire-damaged Mandarin Oriental hotel (C) and the new China Central Television (CCTV) building (R) in Beijing in this March 24, 2011 file photo. The much-delayed but striking steel, concrete and glass headquarters for Chinese state television is expected finally to fully open in the new year, said Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, whose firm designed the building, on October 27, 2011. REUTERS/Jason Lee.

By: Ben Blanchard

BEIJING (REUTERS).- The much-delayed but striking steel, concrete and glass headquarters for Chinese state television is expected finally to fully open in the new year, said Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, whose firm designed the building, on Thursday.

The skyscraper, described by its chief architect Ole Scheeren as a "loop folded in space," is two towers sloped together and joined by a gravity-defying canopy equivalent to 80 stories in height.

Dominating the skyline of Beijing's central business district, the building was among several projects the city undertook to reinvent itself for the 2008 Olympics, along with Norman Foster's $3.6 billion new airport terminal and French architect Paul Andreu's egg-shaped National Grand Theater.

But the Olympics came and went and the state television building failed to open. Instead it sat hulking by a main road, its grounds blocked from view by massive screens as the edifice gathered dust, the occasional light flickering inside.

Koolhaas told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of a China-European Union cultural forum that a 2009 fire at a hotel being built next to the television tower had caused the delay.

"The fire delayed a lot of things, but some parts are open. It's not officially open yet but it will be at the beginning of the year," he said.

"What was complicating things was that it was treated as the scene of a crime, so it needed to be kept for a long time without interference," he said of the hotel fire, caused by fireworks in which one firefighter died. Twenty people were jailed for causing the blaze.

The television tower has divided public opinion. While many people love it, others hate it, and Beijingers have taken to referring to it as "the big long johns."

Koolhaas said he was confident it would win people over, especially now that the screens are finally coming down, giving people a better idea of how the whole complex will look.

"One should wait until it is finished. They are now taking the wall down, and you can see that there is public territory in the building and therefore the building is much more accessible and friendly than people think," he said.

A pathway planned to be open to visitors will follow the loop of the building up to the canopy -- where the glass-floored overhang will allow a view over the city from a dizzying 160 m (525 ft) -- before looping back down through the second tower.

"It's a building that people have to get used to probably, but I hear actually a surprising amount of very positive feelings," Koolhaas said.

While Koolhaas's firm is working on other projects in China, including the new Shenzhen Stock Exchange, he would ideally next like to get involved in preserving some of the classic architecture from the early part of the Chinese communist era.

Beijing and most other Chinese cities are still dotted with examples of these angular, Soviet-esque buildings, though many have been demolished in the rush to modernize, while others languish in obscurity, crumbling and unmourned.

"I would actually love to do a preservation project here, preserving a worthwhile building of the '50s or '60s as a kind of prototype," Koolhaas said.

"What I think should happen is that we don't only look at old buildings or at historical buildings, but that we also begin to define the '50s, '60s and '70s as historical ... so that the things that really define the character of a city like this one -- and of course a lot of the character has been defined by its communist period -- are kept."

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Nick Macfie)

© Thomson Reuters 2011. All rights reserved.

Today's News

October 28, 2011

National Gallery of Victoria welcomes Her Majesty The Queen for 150th anniversary

Exhibition of masterpieces from the Dutch Golden Age at Pinacothèque de Paris

J. Paul Getty Museum announces acquisition of rare Francesco Primaticcio bronze

Fernando Botero's Via Crucis: The Passion of the Christ at Marlborough in New York

Blain/Di Donna's inaugural exhibition presents survey of paintings by Magritte

Sotheby's in London announces sale of Victorian & Edwardian art in November

Newly discovered portrait by Spanish artist Diego Velazquez to be sold at Bonhams

International exhibition of early modern Scandinavian painting opens at Scandinavia House

An eleventh key witness for the theory of evolution by Charles Darwin becomes German Cultural Heritage

Rare early Smurf drawings by Belgian cartoonist Peyo on sale at Artcurial in Paris

Numerous collectors from the four corners of the world attend this year's FIAC in Paris

Bonhams inaugural Period Art & Design auction in Los Angeles announced

Loved, hated, and much-delayed China TV tower by architect Ole Scheeren to open next year

Wayne Gonzales' first solo museum show in the United States opens in New Orleans

Man pleads guilty to Picasso theft at San Francisco gallery

Historic 1894 Roper steam-powered motorcycle expected to set new world record at Auctions America

Who shot Rock and Roll? at Tucson Museum of Art

Klara Kristalova's first solo exhibition in New York opens at Lehmann Maupin Gallery

Anita Kassof appointed new Deputy Director of the Museum of Jewish Heritage

Collection of Shaker objects on view at the Portland Museum of Art

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Rare 1943 Lincoln Cent sells for $204,000 at Heritage Auctions

2.- Exhibition is the first to shed light on the phenomenon of the princely painter

3.- Nathaniel Silver named new Curator of the Collection at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

4.- Rijksmuseum van Oudheden explores the mystical world of the ancient Egyptian gods

5.- Media error draws misleading reports on sale of 1943 Bronze Lincoln Cent

6.- Four men deny giant gold coin heist from Berlin's Bode Museum

7.- Tanya Bonakdar Gallery presents an immersive installation by Charles Long

8.- Egypt says stolen pharaonic tablet repatriated from United Kingdom

9.- Israeli museum under fire over 'McJesus' exhibit

10.- Claremont Rug Company founder Jan David Winitz reveals major shifts in high-end antique Oriental rug market

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful