China Central Television (CCTV) Headquarters
Iwan Baan
CCTV Lighting design Story by Lighting Planners Associates Inc. CCTV Lighting design
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CCTV Headquarters in Beijing, designed by OMA, completed

OMA as Architects

Today 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.

photo_credit Philippe Ruault
Philippe Ruault

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.

photo_credit Iwan Baan
Iwan Baan

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. 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.”

photo_credit Iwan Baan
Iwan Baan
photo_credit Iwan Baan
Iwan Baan

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.

photo_credit OMA
OMA
photo_credit OMA
OMA

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.

photo_credit Philippe Ruault
Philippe Ruault
photo_credit Philippe Ruault
Philippe Ruault

CCTV Headquarters

Inside Outside as Landscape Architects

The landscape design for the CCTV and TVCC site in Beijing includes circulation, green roofs, gardens, street edges, semi-public plazas and entrance areas and is based on old etchings of Roman cities mapped by Piranesi. Its scale and intricate organization echoes the city tissue of ancient parts of Beijing and complements the clear character of the new buildings. The Piranesi drawings were translated into a pixilated system, so that the landscape design could be mapped, instructed, executed, organized and maintained in an easier way. The Pixel system introduces the possibility for a fl exible form of landscaping, in which circular elements act as planters, water features, lighting systems, barriers, way-fi nding tools and also egress stairs and ventilation shafts. This landscape strategy creates gardens, ‘rooms’ and ‘streets’ providing a background and scenography for outdoor fi lming and public events.


Inside Outside was in charge of the landscape design from the fi rst concepts until DDphase. In the subsequent phases some changes were made to the original design. Next to that Inside Outside – Petra Blaisse was also advisor on the Interior design of the CCTV-building.


In 2004 a design competition based on the overall Masterplan was organized for the Media Park, a 25,600m2 space on the southeast block of the CCTV site that is an extension of the shopping and green zone in the main axis of Beijing’s central business district. The Inside Outside-team has won the fi rst price and the design has been realized in 2010. Composed of soft landscapes and outdoor structures, it provides space for outdoor media entertainment and simultaneously serves as a backdrop for exterior broadcasting. The openness of the space echoes CCTV’s ambition to engage the public and showcase media technology.


CCTV Lighting design

Lighting Planners Associates Inc. as Designers

CCTV, the state-run television station upon which China has placed its reputation, is an extraordinary company, a growing and dominant media force not only in China but around the world. Construction of a new headquarters building with an intended completion date before the 2008 Beijing Olympics has been delayed due to fires and other setbacks.


This huge 600 million Euro project combines the 54 floor CCTV facility and 31 floor TVCC facility on the same site in a strikingly shaped volume with a 553,000㎡ total floor area. Our assignment was to designlighting for every space in and around the building, with the exception of special lighting in the CCTV studios. Adapting our lighting design to the accomplishments amassed by the designer, Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), was a grueling effort for which we only had six months to complete. We organized 15 LPA staff members into three teams, one each dedicated to CCTV and TVCC and a third dedicated to the exterior. Every month, 4 or 5 staff members traveled to Rotterdam to attend OMA workshops.


Our work began at OMA, where a place was secured for us to analyze the design details and ideas of the project’s mocks-ups, which were updated every day, and massive number of blueprints. While in Rotterdam, we followed a detailed agenda and interacted with the other participants in the project from morning to night. Once we felt we grasped the content and aims of the architectural design, we turned to working out sketches of the lighting design scheme. We brought fiber optic equipment to insert into building models and fill out images. We hung our sketches on the wall and debated their merits. And, along with these exhaustive discussions, we positioned lighting fixtures in countless reflected ceiling plans and worked out detailed fixture specifications.


Finishing reflected ceiling plans for 54 floors was an impossible task. Proposing avant-garde lighting schemes still meant consuming all our time grinding through details . In the end, we were unable to renew the contract for the construction supervision phase and the lighting was not installed as we had intended in numerous places. The experience was a painful reminder of how vital it is to have an agreement that covers the entire project process, from initial design to final supervision.


Text source: “LPA1990-2015 Tide of Architectural Lighting Design” Rikusyosha.

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