China plans to repair a tower gutted by fire eight months ago in the new headquarters compound of its national broadcaster, the project’s architect said, shedding light on the fate of a building that has come to symbolize incompetence at one of China’s most powerful government institutions.
The soot-blackened shell of the 44-story, boot-shaped Television Cultural Center building has remained largely untouched since February, when it was set ablaze by an illegal fireworks display arranged by an official from China Central Television for the Chinese Lunar New Year. The fire 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,” he told the Associated Press in an article published Thursday. “It’s still intact and safe. There will mainly be a repair effort but not a complete rebuilding.”
Read also a report from BBC News.