China cultural fun fact: People here love giving nicknames to buildings. With all the avante-garde architecture around, sometimes the nicknames are less than complimentary. The new CCTV building is now trying hard to not be known as "Hemorrhoids."
The China Central Television headquarters is a 6.45 million square foot complex that involves twin leaning towers connected by two massive sections in midair. Designed by Rem Koolhaas, it's an amazing feat of engineering and architecture. But when CCTV proposed that they call it Zhichuang (meaning Knowledge Window), Chinese netizens saw its homophone, "Hemorrhoids."
CCTV is now scrambling to find a different nickname to call the building, and have bandied about things like "Harmonious Gate," "New Angle" or "Future Window." Chinese netizens, always happy to help out, have offered their suggestions of "Big Underpants," "Wild Man," and "Slanting Stride."
The current squabble is reminiscent of how the Beijing National Centre for the Performing Arts got its nickname. French architects had envisioned a pearl rising from the water. Chinese people thought it looked like a big duck egg, a slang term for "zero." [Danwei]