I live across the street (actually two streets) from probably the most unique building in China—if not the world. It’s the CCTV Tower, which I’ve been watching with interest over the last five years. But when you live so close to it and see it everyday, it looses part of its uniqueness, as it becomes too familiar.
However, I came across an interview in Newsweek of Rem Koolhaas, the architect responsible for the building, which made me want to go back and look at it again in a new light. The article had some interesting insights into his life story and some background on the CCTV project. But it was this quote that really stuck in my mind, as he said:
“I would say it’s a building that the Chinese could never have thought of but that we [in the West] could never have built.”
I think this sums up quite succinctly the current state of architecture in China. In fact this quote could equally be attributed to a number of buildings in Beijing including theNational Stadium (Bird’s Nest) and the National Centre For Performing Arts (Birds Egg). Both of these were conceived by western architects and built in partnership with Chinese construction. Which is why the world’s best architects, are all working over here. Designing iconic structures, which give China some of the most innovative buildings anywhere in the world.
(Blog posted by Ray on November 15, 2012. You can see the original article by following this link to rayallychina.com)