China plans to repair a tower gutted by fire eight months ago in the new headquarters compound of its national broadcaster. The building burned badly, because some buffoons allowed as unapproved fireworks display arranged by an official from China Central Television for the Chinese Lunar New Year in February. This caused the blaze that damaged the Central China Television complex in Beijing.
The soot-blackened shell of the 44-story, boot-shaped Television Cultural Center building has remained largely untouched since the fire which engulfed the building, which was meant to house a luxury hotel and conference center and which sits just next to the iconic, two-leg tower that is the centerpiece of the CCTV headquarters compound.
Ole Scheeren, an architect in the Office for Metropolitan Architecture who designed the CCTV compound with his partner Rem Koolhaas, said inspections show the high-rise’s steel frame is safe. "The preliminary findings are that the building can be repaired. It’s still intact and safe. There will mainly be a repair effort but not a complete rebuilding."
Mr. Scheeren’s remarks are among the first public statements on the future of the damaged building, part of a $635 million CCTV complex in the heart of the capital’s Central Business District that had drawn criticism and praise for its unusual design. The metal-covered Television Cultural Center and its glass-sheathed neighbor were part of a wave of landmarks built in Beijing before it hosted the Olympics in August 2008.
Wall Street Journal Online says the delays in the project’s resumption to a request by the Chinese State Council for a detailed investigation into the fire and its impact. He said the inquiry was nearly complete. "The reconstruction has not yet officially begun", Mr. Scheeren told the AP. "However, preparations are under way for the start, but no specific date has yet been set."