The China Central Television (or CCTV) Headquarters is situated within an unusually-shaped skyscraper in Beijing’s central business district. This seemingly gravity-defying structure was designed by the Dutch architect, Rem Koolhaas, and is made up of two leaning towers joined at the top and bottom, creating an irregular grid with an open center. The building’s distinct shaped has earned it the nickname, ‘Big Underpants’ among Beijing locals.
While visitors are not allowed access to the CCTV Headquarters, the outside of the building is an attraction in itself. Security remains tight, particularly after fireworks during the Chinese New Year festivities of 2009 caused a fire in the Television Cultural Center, which sits adjacent to the main building.