CCTV Headquarters

CCTV Headquarters, Beijing - China, OMA
Construction year: 2008
Address: Jintong East Rd | BEIJING | China | Visit Website
Latitude/Longitude: 39.915, 116.457

The design of the new Central Chinese Television (CCTV) headquarters defies the popular conception of a skyscraper — and it broke Beijing’s building codes and required approval by a special review panel. The standard systems for engineering gravity and lateral loads in buildings didn’t apply to the CCTV building, which is formed by two leaning towers, each bent 90 degrees at the top and bottom to form a continuous loop.

The main building is not a traditional tower, but a loop of six horizontal and vertical sections covering 473,000 square metres (about 5 million square feet) of floor space, creating an irregular grid on the building’s facade with an open center. The construction of the building is considered to be a structural challenge, especially because it is in a seismic zone. Because of its radical shape, it’s said the taxi driver first came up its nickname dà kùch?, meaning “Big Boxers”.

The building was built in two buildings that were joined to became one building December 26, 2007. In order not to lock in structural differentials this connection was planned to be completed in the early morning when the steel in the two towers cooled to the same temperature.The CCTV building was part of a media park intended to form a landscape of public entertainment, outdoor filming areas, and production studios as an extension of the central green axis of the CBD.

Diagrid exoskeleton

A diagrid system ‘exoskeleton’ was adopted on the external faces of the building to give a tube structure that resists gravity and any other lateral forces. The positioning of the columns and diagonal tubes reflects the distribution of forces in the surface skin of the building.

The columns of the diagrid have the same exposed width but the depth varies according to the load, while the diagonals are all 1m × 60cm plate girders, with only the steel thickness varying. A butterfly plate links perimeter columns, braces and beams.

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