CCTV Headquarters / OMA

CCTV/ Partners-in-charge: Rem Koolhaas and Ole Scheeren, designers, David Gianotten, photographed by Iwan Baan

Architects: OMA
Location: Beijing,
Project Area: 473,000 sqm
Project Year: 2012
Photographs: OMA, Iwan Baan, Jim Gourley, Philippe Ruault

section BB

This past wednesday, OMA participated in the official construction completion ceremony for the China Central Television (CCTV) Headquarters in Beijing, which will start to be used later this year. Designed by OMA as a reinvention of the skyscraper as a loop, construction on the building began in 2004. At approximately 473, 000m2, CCTV – accommodating TV studios, offices, broadcasting and production facilities – is OMA’s largest ever project and its first major building in China.

CCTV/OMA Partners-in-charge: Rem Koolhaas and Ole Scheeren, designers, David Gianotten, photographed by Iwan Baan

CCTV defies the skyscraper’s typical quest for ultimate height. Rising from a common platform, two towers lean towards each other and eventually merge in a perpendicular, 75- metre cantilever. The design combines the entire process of TV-making – formerly scattered in various locations across the city – into a loop of interconnected activities.

facade diagram

The structure of the CCTV Headquarters, and the forces at work within it, is visible on its façade: a web of diagonals that becomes dense in areas of greater stress, looser and more open in areas requiring less support. The façade itself becomes a visual manifestation of the building’s structure.

OMA / Philippe Ruault

Rem Koolhaas commented: “I am very happy, after years of intense collaboration, that the CCTV building will soon begin to perform its role in the way it is intended.”

ground floor plan

The CCTV project was led by OMA / Rem Koolhaas, former OMA partner Ole Scheeren (until 2010), OMA partner David Gianotten and project manager Dongmei Yao in close collaboration with partners Shohei Shigematsu, Ellen van Loon and Victor van der Chijs. The design team consisted of project architects Anu Leinonen, Charles Berman and Adrianne Fisher together with a team of over 100 architects from OMA.

CCTV/OMA Partners-in-charge: Rem Koolhaas and Ole Scheeren, designers, David Gianotten, photographed by Iwan Baan

The structural and MEP design was provided by Cecil Balmond and Arup, while ECADI (East China Architectural Design & Research Institute) functioned as the Local Design Institute. Design Consultants included Front INC, Inside/Outside, DHV, DMJMH+N, Lerch Bates & Associates, LPA, Sandy Brown Associates and Romano Gatland NY.

exploded axon

View this project in Google Maps

* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "CCTV Headquarters / OMA" 21 May 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 29 May 2015. <>
  • George Lee

    It is my understanding this building lies empty and used an immense unusual amount of steel in the construction. Although a cool sculpture, also an example of a sort of “modern Pruitt-Igoe” when you look at practically any other measure of success for Architecture.

    • AST

      Yes, this structure is very inefficient. The enormous amounts of extra steel needed to support the cantilevered sections is inheremtly wasteful and irresponsible these days. It would be forgivable if the design had greatness, but this one does not. It already looks like a tired gimmick leftover from 2004. Even worse, it might be mistaken for a Daniel Libeskind design!

  • David Basulto


    The building was just completed and will be start being used for the 2012 Olympics broadcast. I think that it will surely take some time to move in before it is working at 100%.

  • Jack



  • Alberto

    One of the worse buildings of OMA, the form is impressive, but the interior is quite so-so. The section is as normal than anoter tower. I think that is one of the reasons that there is not any picture of the interior of the building