CCTV Tower Update III

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I am probably a little flippy about this building, the roughly 800 million dollar extravaganza that is to be the headquarters of China Central Television. But having posted pics of its progress several times (last one here in November) on this blog, I thought I’d keep up the tradition. The first picture gives you some idea of where the construction is: this portion of the project isn’t due to be ready for occupation until 2009.

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As you’ll see from a different angle, it isn’t just the leaning tower aspect that is intriguing, it’s the balancing of the whole middle section in the middle of thin air that is also jaw dropping.

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This shot is supposed to give some idea of the sheer bulky, about-to-topple over leaningness of the whole structure. It’s a fly by wire building. Without the wires.

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Lastly, here’s the companion building off to the left, the Television Cultural Center, which is scheduled to be finished before the Games in August. There’ll be a Mandarin Oriental Hotel in there, along with cinemas, shops etc. Kind of interesting but not in the same league as its neighbor. (The big billboard, by the way, isn’t exhorting Beijingers to strive for a harmonious Socialist paradise as you might expect but urging them to pay attention to traffic lights when they cross the road. This may seem a somewhat trivial message for such a big billboard, but anyone who has been a pedestrian in Beijing can tell you it should be twice the size. I tell my kids to look in all for directions before they move…..and then up, just to be sure.)

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For those interested, here’s a link to the architects’ website where you can find cutaway designs, renderings of the finished buildings etc.

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