CCTV set to move by 2008 09-23-2004 13:38

After more than two years of much discussion and planning, China has finally decided to move the headquarters of its national TV station. Wednesday morning saw the foundation stone laid for CCTV's new building in eastern Beijing's CBD. Parts of the new building will be used for Beijing's coverage of the 2008 Olympics.

An ambitious ground-breaking project for China Central Television. Leaders and staff from CCTV witnessed the laying of the ground stone for one of the highest skyscrapers in the capital. The new building will feature two towers each over 200 meteres high. The site is even larger than China's Tiananmen Square.

Dutch architect, Ram Koolhass, won the bid for his "Z-Crisscross" design, about two years ago. He said, :"Unique times deserve unique solutions. This basic shape is generated from the basic thinking that CCTV is an organization, that every single company will present, in such a way that all parts will work together."

CCTV's current building in the far West of Beijing occupies an area just one fifth of the future mega-complex. 15 years-old, it can no longer meet the needs of the giant TV network which has 15 channels and more than 10,000 staff. The new building, expected to cost 5 billion yuan, or some 800 million US dollars, will accommodate 200 channels.

The designers believe CCTV's new headquarters will combine the special needs of an ever-expanding media organization with a landmark architectural style. It's a building loved by some, hated by others. But either way, it is set to become the new symbol of China's growing media industry.


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