Monday, October 26, 2009
The Building Continues
A report today says while the timetable for reconstruction and renovation of the tower is still pending, workers are being hired to revive the controversial "ghost tower."
Apparently white scaffolding has been placed along the south side of the Television Cultural Center (TVCC) which originally housed the Mandarin Oriental hotel and some CCTV facilities that was burned out in February.
So far 20 CCTV staff who were responsible for the fire have been arrested. The head of CCTV, Zhao Huayong was "relieved of his post" in May.
About 20 construction workers have arrived at the site and more than 1,000 workers will be employed by the China Construction Engineering Corporation, which originally built the two towers.
The article says reconstruction will entail knocking down the exterior walls and rebuilding them again. An official from the Information Office of Beijing Municipality said the main structure of the building had not been seriously affected.
However, ripping out the exterior and replacing it sounds dodgy rather than straight forward. The chances of leaks and below average construction comes to mind. And how are they going to get rid of the smokey smell? But more importantly, when a building has been through a fire, its structural quality has been compromised -- has there been any feasibility study to prove that the building is safe enough to use?
Also, it is not clear who will be paying for the repair work. The original cost of the two buildings was 5 billion RMB. One thinks millions more will be needed, as reconstruction is harder than constructing a building from scratch.
The story did not mention if Office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), the architect firm would be involved in the reconstruction. It probably wants to have nothing to do with the project anymore.
Only after the renovation, which will probably take just under two years, will the CCTV staff FINALLY move into the CCTV tower.
Talk about a major broadcast delay.