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CCTV Headquarters, Beijing, China:
Building the structure
Chris Carroll Craig Gibbons Goman Ho Michael Kwok Richard Lawson Alexis Lee Ronald Li Andrew Luong Rory McGowan Chas Pope

Introduction China Central Television (CCTV) had been expanding greatly, in competition with major international television and news service providers, and early in 2002 it organised an international designcompetition for a new headquarters. This was won by the team of OMA (Office for Metropolitan Architecture) and Arup. The team subsequently allied with the East China Design Institute (ECADI) to act as the essential local design institute for both architecture and engineering. The first Arup Journal article1 outlined the design collaboration process. The unusual brief, in television terms, was for all thefunctions of production, management, and administration to be contained on the chosen site in the new Beijing Central Business District, but not necessarily in one building. In its architectural response, however, OMA decided that by doing just this, it should be possible to break down the “ghettoes” that tend to form in a complex and compartmentalised process like making television programmes, andcreate a building whose layout in three dimensions would force all those involved to mix and produce a better end-product more economically and efficiently (Fig 1). The winning design for the 473 000m2, 234m tall CCTV building thus combines administration and offices, news and broadcasting, programme production, and services – the entire process of Chinese television – in a single loop ofinterconnected activities (Fig 2) around the four elements of the building: the nine-storey “Base”, the two leaning Towers that slope at 6° in two directions, and the 9-13 storey “Overhang”, suspended 36 storeys in the air. The public facilities are in a second building, the Television Cultural Centre (TVCC), and both are linked to a third service building that houses major plant as well as security. Thewhole development will provide 599 000m² gross floor area and covers 187 000m², including a landscaped media park with external features. Construction Documents phase In August 2004, after receiving approval for the structural design from the Chinese Ministry of Construction, Arup handed over the extended preliminary design (EPD) documents to ECADI, which then began to produce the ConstructionDocuments (CDs). Arup, however, maintained an extensive involvement on completion of the EPD design phase, including production of tender documentation for the main structure and interaction with the tenderers for the works, as well as being part of the tender review process. Together with the architects OMA, Arup also had a continuous site presence during construction, working with the contractor inimplementing the design (Fig 3).

1. Architect’s illustration of the completed building.

Erecting two massive leaning Towers, and connecting them with a 9-13 storey Overhang suspended 36 storeys in the air, presented the structural engineers and contractors with unprecedented design and construction challenges. This is the third Arup Journal article about the CCTV (China Central Television)building in Beijing; it covers the construction of this unique project. The previous two articles dealt with the structural1 and services engineering2 design.

40 The Arup Journal 2/2008

VIP elevators Competition Contract negotiation Express elevators Scheme design stage Extended preliminary design stage Tower lobby Structural expert panel review approval Extended preliminary design revisionsConstruction documents stage Excavation Construction phase Piling and raft foundations Basement Superstructure steelwork Cladding installation Fit-out

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

Executive elevators

Jury decision 22 December 2002: signing of design contract

Tower lobby

8 January 2004

28 April 2006: construction documents approval 22 September 2004:...
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