Young and Defenseless

There had never been a building like it: a skyscraper that twisted back on itself like a pretzel, wrapping glass and steel around a hole filled with sky. But after 25 years or so, the vast bureaucracy of the government TV station headquartered there had been dispersed and a building that had once symbolized the technological prowess of a burgeoning economic empire came to stand instead for an overreaching state. Eventually, the Chinese Central Television building, designed by Rem Koolhaas and completed in 2010, was sentenced to demolition. Despite the protests of architects around the world, the cranes began to gather.

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