Beijing locals have long nicknamed it the ‘Underpants’. And according to a revelation in last week’s People’s Daily, perhaps with good reason. The controversial CCTV Tower – a futuristic design with two huge base legs – has been a source of controversy ever since Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas designed it. It became more so when China’s state newspaper discovered a book published five years ago about the work of Koolhaas (called Content ) that contained drawings likening the CCTV Tower and its neighbouring 30-storey companion to male and female genitalia. Uproar followed, with netizens wondering whether China was the victim of an embarassing architectural joke. Koolhaas, however, has flatly denied that the building’s design has any sexual links and told the South China Morning Post he was “saddened by the speculation”.
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