Rem Koolhaas’ Mandarin Oriental Hotel Burns Down


In case you hadn’t heard, one section of the highlights of Beijing’s new skyline, the Mandarin Oriental hotel, was almost completely burnt down late Monday night, leaving simple a smoldering shell of what it once was. Designed by Rem Koolhaas and his team at OMA, the building stood next to the starchitect’s now-famous CCTV building, which was often showcased during the Olympics of last year. The building caught fire during a particularly bombastic fireworks show put together by the CCTV group, which was later found to be completely unauthorized by government safety officials, leading to the death of a firefighter and the absolute gutting of the hotel, which was set to open in May after a cost of nearly three quarters of a billion dollars to build. So far the damage to the CCTV tower hasn’t been reported on in any depth, but these photos, caught by a local Beijing resident, show just how brutal the blaze was to be one of the city’s crowning architectural achievements, which is sure to take its toll on all that surround it.