Guanghua Bridge, Dongsanhuan Zhonglu
HOURS: Interior closed to the public
METRO: Guanghua Road (Line )
Not to be confused with the needle-like communications tower on the other side of town that’s also called the CCTV Tower, the New CCTV Tower is one of the city’s most striking buildings. Nicknamed “big underpants” thanks to its unusual shape, the building was finished in early 2008 after four years of construction.
It was designed by Rem Koolhas and Ole Scheeren of OMA, and engineered by Arup. Its unusual design took logistical skill to execute, such as joining the two towers early in the morning before the steel had a chance to swell.
A fire gutted the annex containing the Mandarin Oriental Hotel during Chinese New Year 2009, and the main building is mostly unoccupied, awaiting tenancy from China Central TV.
Although entry to the tower is prohibited, it’s worth visiting for some great photo opportunities.