DEFINING THE SKYLINE OF BEIJING – THE CCTV HEADQUARTERS

The China Central Television (CCTV) headquarters is a three-dimensional building and it culminates in a 75-metre cantilever. The building is visible from most parts of Beijing and its size differs when viewed from different locations. The giant towers erected are connected with a 9-13 storey Overhang which is suspended 36 storeys in the air.  

 

The loop-shaped skyscraper was designed by Office of Metropolitan Architecture and Arup as the first major building in China. At approximately 473,000 m2, it accommodates TV studios, administration and offices, news and broadcasting, programme production and services that portray the entire Chinese television endeavours.

 

The CCTV headquarters rises from a common platform while two towers lean towards each other and merge into a perpendicular 75-metre cantilever. Two towers rise from a common production studio platform, the Plinth. Tower 1 is an editing area and offices while the lower Tower 2 is for news broadcasting. The towers are joined by a cantilevering bridge called the Overhang. The design accomodates the entire process of TV-making which were formerly scattered in various locations across the city to become a loop of interconnected activities.

 

The main lobby in Tower 1 is an atrium that stretches three floors underground and three floors up. It directly connects to Beijing’s subway network and serves as the arrival and departure hub for 10,000 workers. 13 production studios (the largest having an area of 2,000 square meters) are also connected to the lobby for TV production activities.

 

The Public Loop allows visitors to visit the studio work and take in the history of CCTV, and at the edge of the cantilever, there lies a spectacular view facing the Central Business District (CBD), Forbidden City and the rest of Beijing. A Media Park also forms a landscape for public entertainment, outdoor filming areas and production studios as an extension of the central green axis of the CBD.

The building is support by an irregular grid on its surface. The forces travel through a tube structure as the smaller the diagonal pattern, the stronger the load and the greater the support. Its facade structure features high performance glass panels with a sun shading of 70 percent ceramic frit that creates the soft silver-grey colour giving the building a subdued presence in the Beijing skyline.

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