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Beijing, Beijing


It is a long time since New York has been, in Rem Koolhaas' phrase, 'delirious'. He, however, probably is. What will be his most extraordinary architectural showstopper is now the subject of a signed contract with the authorities in Beijing, who have commissioned him (after a competition) to design a $600 million skyscraper which will act as a media centre for the 2008 Olympics. The 80-storey building will be far from conventional, exploiting torsion as a structural principle in a design engineered by Arup chairman Cecil Balmond.The design is described as a four-sided doorframe reminiscent of Chinese tradition, but bent and twisted inside out in a steel mesh of irregular pattern.

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