With a bold design that appears to strain the laws of physics, the CCTV tower is one of Beijing's most internationally famous architectural showpieces. Local cab drivers have taken to calling it the "underpants" building, while they refer to the tall, cylindrical China World Tower across the street as an appendage that might have escaped from them.
The building to the north is part of the CCTV tower's subterranean structure and was originally planned as the site of the Mandarin Oriental. However, a stray firework during the 2009 Chinese New Year celebration caused a fire that incinerated a large portion of the building. Because it shares a carefully balanced foundation with the other tower, restoration of the hotel has been slow and still continues today.