...to the New Year, tragically captured in the fire last night in Beijing that burnt down one of the new CCTV headquarter buildings. The building affected was the Television Culture Centre containing the soon to open Mandarin Oriental Hotel, a theatre, recording studios, cinemas etc. It belongs to the CCTV complex designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, of which the incredible, futuristic "Pants legs" is the landmark main building (which seems to not have been affected). "Luckily" it was yet to be completed so no human injuries have been reported at this time. The government had recently allowed fireworks within the city centre, bowing to traditional culture and public appeal. In general 2009 has not begun auspiciously with both the world economy at sixes and sevens, huge drought in northern China and now this. Definitely not a good omen for things to come.
See video of fire here.
Update 2.23 pm 090210
Bad goes to worse...one fireman dead, seven injured and the whole thing seems to be CCTV's own fault, according to Xinhua News Agency and Reuters: more here. What a sad mess...