Architecture In Beijing Is On Fire. Literally.

CCTV Tower Fire

This morning I awoke to news that one of the towers in OMA’s CCTV complex, the not yet completed TVCC tower and the future home to the 241 room Mandarin Oriental Hotel, was burning. I have written about this high profile architectural project several times previously, so news of the fire definitely got my attention. Actually, by the time I had gotten news of this event the tower had been completely destroyed by the fire, and authorities were fearing that it would collapse, with news that the fire spread across the entire building in less than an hour. This is what the 34 story tower looked like before the fire (TVCC is the building in the middle):

TVCC Tower

The fire was started by a fireworks display, and this video seems to actually catch the start of the fire on the rooftop of the building, though this is not yet verified:

Some incredibly shaky video of the building burning and disintegrating:

No word yet on anybody injured or killed by the blaze. More on this at the and at , where there are several more videos of the fire. BLDGBLOG gets in a jab with .

Update: Here’s a much better video showing the building ablaze with the sound of fireworks in the background:

Update 2: There are some incredible images, like this one below (which I saw at ), available at :


Update 3: Holy crap!

Update 4: An excellent article in the bringing a bit more detail to this architectural tragedy, perhaps the biggest revelations being that the fire stemmed from an illegal fireworks show being put on by CCTV in very close proximity to the TVCC building (see first video above), and that the Chinese government and media went into overdrive trying to prevent news and images of this fire from surfacing in any of the Chinese news channels. There is also an excellent slide show with the article, some of the images in which depict the burnt aftermath of the TVCC fire.

There are many more detailed images of the burned out TVCC tower .

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