It's refreshing to see that not every major city in a fast, growing, developing country is racing to build the tallest skyscrapers around.
"(Ole) Scheeren is the co-architect, with Rem Koolhaas, of the most eagerly awaited building in Beijing, the headquarters of the Chinese television network CCTV, a monumental construction that has become world-famous long in advance of its completion, scheduled for late this year.
A vast structure of steel and glass, it is a dazzling reinvention of the skyscraper, using size not to dominate but to embrace the viewer.
The building will contain more office space than any other building in China and nearly as much as the Pentagon, but, as skyscrapers go, it is on the short side, with just fifty-one floors.
Looking from a distance like a gigantic arch, it is a continuous loop, a kind of square doughnut."
Or a boxy pretzel...pick your snack food.
Mr. Goldberger goes on to say:
"When you get closer, you see that each horizontal section is made up of two pieces that converge in a right angle. The top section, thirteen stories deep, is dramatically cantilevered out over open space, five hundred and thirty feet in the air, and it seems to reach over you like a benign robot.
The novelty of the form—some Beijingers have taken to calling it Big Shorts—takes time to comprehend; the building seems to change as you pass it. “It comes across sometimes as big and sometimes as small, and from some angles it is strong and from others weak,” Scheeren said. “It no longer portrays a single image.”
This gentle giant of a structure, when finished, will have about 4.1 million square feet of office space, a little more than the Empire State Building (2.8 million sq. ft.) and Chrysler Building (1.2 million sq. ft.) combined.
They're racing to finish it in time for the Summer Olympics in Beijing, which kick off in less than 40 days. It's definitely going up on my list "must visit" places, on the next trip to China.