Thursday, January 17, 2008

Cool Boom






China's current building boom is doing more than sucking up the world's supply of steel, it's creating a stage for some of today's boldest architecture and engineering.

Central Chinese Television CCTV, Beijing
OMA/Ole Scheeren and Rem Koolhaas. Under construction, scheduled for completion in 2008


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 engineer's solution is to create a structural "tube" of diagonal supports. The irregular pattern of this "diagrid" system reflects the distribution of forces across the tube's surface. Designed by Rem Koolhaas and Ole Scheeren and engineered by Ove Arup, the new CCTV tower rethinks what a skyscraper can be.

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