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Quote of Note | Martin Filler

“With a plethora of bizarre new architecture engulfing them, baffled Beijingers have devised a new architectural lexicon recalling the wry coinages long perfected by witty Berliners, who, for example, have dubbed the glass dome of Norman Foster’s Reichstag renovation of 1992–1999 die Käseglocke (the cheese cover). Thus the two-legged CCTV colossus has become colloquially known as da kucha (big pants crotch). In trying to preempt a sarcastic nickname of this sort, officials wanted to get locals to refer to the CCTV building as zhi chuan—knowledge window—a pretentious choice that backfired because of its close homophonic echo of zhi chuang—hemorrhoid.

But whatever moniker people adopt, one can predict that they will be beguiled by the highly unusual and equally controlled tourist route that is being built through the CCTV nerve center. Visitors will be able to navigate the premises in one nonstop loop while never disturbing day-to-day activities, a sure-fire public relations coup that will confer a bogus semblance of transparency on what of course is anything but an open operation.”

-Martin Filler, writing in The New York Review of Books on the 4.2-million-square-foot China Central Television Headquarters designed by Rem Koolhaas‘s Office for Metropolitan Architecture

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