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Architect who wants to 'kill' skyscrapers wins best tall building award

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CCTV headquarters (SHUTTERSTOCK)
CCTV headquarters (SHUTTERSTOCK)

China's twisting CCTV Headquarters was named the best tall building worldwide last week by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat — a fact that's likely to the chagrin of its designer, Rem Koolhaas, who has previously expressed a distaste for skyscrapers. "When I published my last book ... one chapter was called ‘Kill the Skyscraper,'" Koolhaas says in a statement. "Basically it was an expression of disappointment at the way the skyscraper typology was used and applied. I didn't think there was a lot of creative life left in skyscrapers."

The CCTV Headquarters would appear to be Koolhaas' response to the drab, towering designs he so dislikes. The building, which was completed last year, is composed of two distinct towers connected at their upper floors by a wing that juts off at 90-degree angles to form an arm between them. The arm slopes as well, allowing the CCTV Headquarters' 44-floor tower to meet its 54-floor tower in what appears to be some sort of optical illusion. "I tried to launch a campaign against the skyscraper in its more uninspired form," Koolhaas said while accepting his award, joking, "The fact that I am standing on this stage now, in this position, meant that my declaration of war went completely unnoted, and that my campaign was completely unsuccessful."