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Old March 4th, 2006, 10:29 PM   #81
Urban Dave
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Anyway, what about an update? It's about time!
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Old March 6th, 2006, 11:37 AM   #82
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It's such a well-planned city.
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Old April 2nd, 2006, 07:37 AM   #83
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Anymore updates?????????
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Old April 8th, 2006, 06:07 AM   #84
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Making it big in Beijing
4 March 2006
Irish Times

A Monaghan man is engineering the 'twisted doughnut' an ambitious new headquarters for the Chinese state TV channel, writes Clifford Coonan

Rory McGowan, the Monaghan man who is engineering the structure of the world's most futuristic building, CCTV in Beijing, is explaining how best to visualise the startling behemoth that will transform the skyline of China's capital for the Olympic Games in 2008.

"Imagine four Canary Wharf towers. Bend two in the middle, use one as the base, another as the top section and place the final two as upright towers leaning at an angle, and you get a basic idea of what CCTV will look like," says McGowan.

"This will redefine architecture and how people think about big buildings. It's not about height," he says, excited at the prospect of building the headquarters for China's state broadcaster.

McGowan's Monaghan accent is still there as he animatedly points out features on the site, which has just had one of the biggest concrete pours the world has ever seen, and the way he tells it, it's easy to imagine how the CCTV building will be one of the truly magical structures to come out of the construction boom transforming Beijing.

McGowan is a director of the international engineering group Arup, which seems to have a hand in most of the big projects in Beijing, including the Olympic Stadium, the Water Cube for the aquatic events and the new airport terminal, which British architect Sir Norman Foster has designed.

But it is the CCTV tower that will truly change the cityscape of Beijing. CCTV is China's state broadcaster; it has more than a billion viewers and it wanted a building to reflect that when the world comes to Beijing to watch the games in 2008.

The CCTV building has been called a "twisted doughnut". It is a 1980s-style, brightly coloured, Z-shaped construction, a 770ft-high continuous tube without right angles. It's a counter-intuitive building, but a beautiful one too. A companion structure next door, TVCC, is shaped like a big boot and together they will provide more than 5,382,000sq ft of studios, offices, an exhibition space and a hotel.

"When we won CCTV, all hell broke loose. We had a team of 111 at one point and there's never been a dull moment," says McGowan.

One website refers to McGowan as "engineer supreme", and on the CCTV project, McGowan will again match his expertise with the world's most controversial and daring architect, Dutch design renegade Rem Koolhaas.

Koolhaas's Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) designed the CCTV project and turned to Arup to build it.

Koolhaas has been called the Sid Vicious of contemporary architecture after the spiky-haired punk icon who defined the look of the Sex Pistols. But a better analogy would be Malcolm McLaren, the Svengali behind the prototype punk rockers.

As much a writer and theorist as he is an architect, Koolhaas is as well known for his books on the principles and aesthetics of contemporary architecture as he is for the buildings he's created.

His writings, such as S, M, L, XL, which he published with designer Bruce Mau, reveal a gifted theorist and propagandist, a cultured iconoclast willing to tackle the big issues in architecture but who also loves building on a grand scale, incorporating chaos and anonymity into the project.

THE CCTV PROJECT, which should be finished just before the games, is anything but conventional. Koolhaas believes flamboyance should be reserved for the concept rather than the form, but no one can deny the CCTV building is a startling project.

Building a huge headquarters for China's state broadcaster in downtown Beijing is politically significant too. While other broadcasters are fragmenting and moving out to cheaper premises, China is going determinedly toward a more central control, a potent political symbol as well as a logistical decision.

And CCTV is a real engineer's building, a structure that couldn't have been built a few years ago, because much of the modelling was done by computer. And it's McGowan's job to turn these ideas, these dizzying theories and high-tech ambitions, into steel, solid concrete and glass.

Work started in September of 2004 amid a swirl of rumour that the government had balked at giving the go-ahead because of the scale and cost of the project, which will exceed $600 million by the time the project is completed. Its daring structure meant it was scrutinised for safety by a panel of 12 of the most senior structural engineers in the country.

Engineering a building like this is an enormous challenge. Beijing is in an earthquake zone and the CCTV project has to meet strict requirements on how the building will behave in an earthquake.

The requirements were that it should show no structural damage when subjected to a level one earthquake, with an average return period of 50 years, repairable structural damage in a level-two earthquake, with an average return period of 475 years, and severe structural damage permitted but no collapse when subjected to a level-three earthquake, with an average return period of 2,500 years.

MCGOWAN IS NO stranger to working on international projects, ranging from multi-million dollar constructions to development schemes in west Africa.

One of six children, he was schooled at St Macartan's College in Monaghan town and took his Leaving Cert in 1981 at 16.

"Career counselling in those days was non-existent. I knew I was good at fixing things, doing things, so I signed up for Bolton Street at 17, not knowing what I was doing. After two years I realised what engineering could be about and started to get enthusiastic about it," he says.

He received a grant to study in Queen's University Belfast - one of the positive offshoots of the Anglo-Irish Agreement in 1984 - and became one of the first students from the Republic to go to the North to study.

"We were careful and we were being watched by the army and police. It was tense, always a bit dodgy. The university was safe, you just had to be aware of where the edges were," he says.

After graduating he went to Budapest in Hungary and travelled for a while before signing up for Arup, which has 7,000 people worldwide, including 350 in Ireland, and is the brainchild of Ove Arup, a highly idealistic Danish-born, Sheffield-bred engineer who created one of the world's largest engineering firms.

In 1989, while still a young graduate at Arup, he worked with the Italian master builder Renzo Piano, on the Kansai International Airport in Japan, at one point leading the project office in Osaka.

He's also worked with Nicholas Grimshaw on the British National Space Centre in Leicester and more recently on the Fundacion Caixa Galicia in La Coruña in Spain, which will house the art and culture collection of the Caixa Galicia bank when it opens in March.

But his longest association has been with Rem Koolhaas, who he first met when he worked on the Congrexpo conference facility in Lille in 1991.

"My early impressions of working with Rem were a bit like a human zoo.

"Rem got as much out of the way people worked with each other and how decisions are arrived at as he did out of the building. He likes to keep testing, look at options. There's an aesthetic there, but one characteristic is stunningly simple design in complex situations - people just get it," he says.

"At this stage Rem was well known but hadn't built much. He pushed us and pulled us in directions we never thought we'd go. What characterises his work is research at the first stage. He will always check if the client is asking the right question question the brief," he says.

"I've been working with OMA longer than anyone else except him. He's a professorial figure rather than a father figure. The authorship is good, he's pragmatic, not too precious - he can be convinced. There's an honesty behind the rhetoric. He can be cruel but he's not stodgy," he says.

THE PROJECTS HE has done with Koolhaas include the Casa da Música in Porto, Portugal, an edgy, sculptural concert hall in white concrete and the unbuilt Universal Studios headquarters in Los Angeles. While he is clearly excited about building these famous structures, McGowan probably gets most excited about a 360ft cable suspension walkway bridge in Cameroon in 1989.

"The Korup Bridge in Cameroon was absolutely fantastic. I designed every nut and bolt and then we built it in 10 weeks. It's still standing and I've been back three or four times to build more bridges, sponsored by Arup," he says.

He is also project director of Druk White Lotus School in Ladakh in India, where Arup engineers are working on a mostly voluntary basis and which he says is a good example of an environmentally sound design in an extreme environment with earthquakes - it felt the recent quake in Pakistan.

In 1994 he signed up for a project called Health Projects Abroad, a mixture of rural development and community projects - he built a rural dispensary. Size isn't everything.
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Old April 8th, 2006, 11:48 AM   #85
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I hope Tom Green finds this building so he can take some pics
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Old April 9th, 2006, 10:36 AM   #86
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any updates????
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Old April 20th, 2006, 03:18 PM   #87
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Tom green has updated some images now, they are 1 week old!

[IMG]http://i3.************/vqqubk.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i3.************/vpyejl.jpg[/IMG]
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Old April 20th, 2006, 05:37 PM   #88
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very nice update indeed, thanks all, a lot progress on it.
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Old April 20th, 2006, 06:45 PM   #89
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damn!, It's rising so!!
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Old April 22nd, 2006, 03:00 AM   #90
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see the couple at bottom right corner, seems they are arguing sth.
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Old April 22nd, 2006, 03:02 AM   #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cellocello
see the couple at bottom right corner, seems they are arguing sth.
Or just having a good time, but was unlucky on the image!
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Old April 22nd, 2006, 05:27 AM   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cellocello
see the couple at bottom right corner, seems they are arguing sth.
I do believe they are arguing sth ,too.
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Old April 22nd, 2006, 05:39 AM   #93
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Wow, I'm so excited to see that building built. So, are they going to demolish the old structures surrounding it?
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Old April 22nd, 2006, 11:01 AM   #94
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This is one of my favorite towers in Beijing, can't wait!!
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Old April 22nd, 2006, 11:42 AM   #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmoManila
Wow, I'm so excited to see that building built. So, are they going to demolish the old structures surrounding it?
Those building looks so out of place....
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Old April 22nd, 2006, 12:10 PM   #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmoManila
Wow, I'm so excited to see that building built. So, are they going to demolish the old structures surrounding it?
I hope so, but have no idea!
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Old April 22nd, 2006, 01:13 PM   #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qazaq
I hope so, but have no idea!
Yes they are empty and ready to be demolished.
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Old April 26th, 2006, 11:25 PM   #98
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From ccoo in skyscrapers.cn















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Old April 27th, 2006, 12:42 AM   #99
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^ Woah! I think it looks tall already!
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Old April 27th, 2006, 02:17 AM   #100
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great update~ such a good lookin monster..... lol
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