China Central Television Headquarters
Why It’s Cool: No two layouts of its 55 floors are the same. Only the Pentagon is a larger office building. Even in a country pushing architectural boundaries, this squared-off doughnut seems dizzyingly unique. And next fall, visitors could stand on glass discs in a cantilevered floor and stare down 500 unencumbered feet to the street (though a February fire at the Mandarin Oriental hotel next door could push back the already-delayed opening). Of course, the design comes from Koolhaas, who’s one of the profession’s most original practitioners. Yet even he plays down its stature. “Amidst all the skyscrapers there, it’s relatively low,” said Koolhaas in 2006. “It will feel accessible.”
A fire in early 2009 caused some damage to the building complex.