Wednesday, April 6, 2011


The CCTV Television Station and Headquarters in Beijing, China has won my opinion as today's vision of 'what is modern?'

Under Construction, 2008

The unique structure suspends itself over 234 meters above the ground using a strong diagrid exoskeleton and traditional inner support.  The basic structure involves two leaning towers at 60 degrees which bend at right angles at the top and bottom then join together in both instances.

CCTV Tower Concept Design

With a continuous form and an all glass exterior the CCTV tower dominates the skyline with its one of a kind look.  This structure made it possible for China State Television to broadcast 200+ which was a dramatic increase from the previous capacity of 16 channels.  It was also completed in time to help broadcast the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

TVCC Tower (front), CCTV Tower (back)

A currently incomplete structure (due to a fire) next to the CCTV Tower is the TVCC Tower, which will house several entertainment options and a 300 room hotel among other venues.  With an estimated final cost of 1.2 billion dollars, the CCTV and TVCC Towers are sure to be well worth the effort as they mark a pinnacle of modern design.
TVCC Tower damaged by fire in 2009
      The search for what is modern by humans, in my opinion, is fueled by greatness.  Just as Kings sought to take over their enemies for greatness and rememberence, designers try to imprint themselves into history by revolutionizing the contemporary.  How can someone be remembered by doing the same old techniques?  The quest to be modern in the early 20th century is the same as it is today.  In order to be great and be remembered we must leave something for history to remember us by, our generations concept of 'modern'.

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1 comment:

  1. Matt, great post, I couldn't agree more with your opinion of modernism being a generational theme, each trying to create something different to prove the point that innovation is the key to success and remembrance.