This video shows an interview with German architect Ole Scheeren, who is a principal of Büro Ole Scheeren with offices in Beijing, Hong Kong and London and a visiting professor at Hong Kong University. Ole Scheeren is currently working on a series of projects, including Angkasa Raya, a 268 meter tall landmark building in the center of Kuala Lumpur; a studio/gallery building for a Beijing-based artist; and a large-scale urban development in Singapore. His investigation and exploration of new prototypes for architecture at various scales also includes the development of a new kind of kinetic performing art space/arena, as well as an 800,000 square meter mixed-use development in Chongqing. Furthermore, Ole Scheeren is working on the design for an arts center in Beijing. As former Partner and Director of Rem Koolhaas’ Office for Metropolitan Architecture in Beijing and Hong Kong, Scheeren directed the office’s work across Asia. As partner-in-charge of OMA’s largest project to date he successfully led the realization of the China Central Television Station (CCTV) and the Television Cultural Centre (TVCC) in Beijing. During the interview, Scheeren talks about recently completed China Central Television Station in Beijing.
Scheeren explains that since he has started the project of CCTV, from the very first day he had quite long standing relationship to Asia and some kind of connection with that region. The East had always captured him in a particular interest and fascination. Because of that it was actually not such a difficult decision for him to take part in this project. He recalls that it was almost self-evident to go and take this project through its different stages of growth and of construction. He also had to translate the responsibility inherent in a process of design throughout its ultimate transformation into reality.
In Scheeren’s opinion, the project itself has a number of aspects in enormous scale that completely exceeds anything. The project exceeds everything that anyone of his office has ever done. Even most of people in the world have never done such a project since it is one of the largest buildings ever built. He thinks that obviously that it in itself presents explicit challenge from him to go.
The architect thinks that architecture is very much an issue of timing. There are certain moments in the time when certain things are possible and these “windows” open and close. He thinks that this is obviously a very contextual moment and it was an entirely unique situation at that particular point in time, with China’s specific historic situation and emerging economic situation. But, also with psychology and mentality that was so focused on the future which came, with a great deal of courage and a great deal of strength this project was possible.