9. CCTV Tower

Location: Beijing

Architect: Rem Koolhaas and Ole Scheeren

10 years in the making, the China Central Television Headquarters has had its ups and downs. Critics panned designs. Fires disrupted construction. Koolhaus even had to deny the design referenced female sex organs. Cast aside trials and tribulations, and CCTV Tower succeeds in redefining expectations of the skyscraper. The complex structure, held fast by steel cross-braces, finds two towers angling towards each other and ultimately embracing. An engineering marvel, and certainly worth celebrating in final form.

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