Reportedly nicknamed "big boxer shorts" by a Beijing taxi driver, the CCTV headquarters looks like no other building on earth.
Designed by architects Rem Koolhaas and Ole Scheeren of Rotterdam architecture firm OMA, it's comprised of a continuous loop of six horizontal and vertical sections.
The design represents a running stream of "qi" in the building.
Given China's monumental economic ambitions, the 234-meter-high structure is considered on the short side for a skyscraper.
But its light gray curtain of glass does blend in with the notoriously smoggy skyline of Beijing, earning this one of a kind skyscraper awards from the Cityscape World Architecture Congress in Dubai.
"Instead of competing in the race for ultimate height and style within a traditional two-dimensional tower 'soaring' skyward, CCTV's loop poses a truly three-dimensional experience, culminating in a 75-meter cantilever," says the firm behind it.
China Central Television Headquarters, Guanghua Road, Beijing
Commerzbank Headquarters, Frankfurt, Germany
Height: 300.1 meters
Cost to build: $414 million
Completion date: 1997
Fast fact: There's no observatory or open area on top. The public can only get as far as the plaza level.
With the aid of a 50-meter mast, the Commerzbank Headquarters in Frankfurt soars past the 300-meter mark by a whopping 10 centimeters.
Designed by London-headquartered architecture firm Foster + Partners, the building is the tallest in Germany.
It was the tallest of all buildings in the European Union until London's The Shard bumped it to second in 2012.
The Commerzbank Headquarters was the world's first so-called ecological skyscraper, making use of natural systems of lighting and ventilation and reducing energy consumption as early as 1997.
In contrast to Europe's conspicuous lack of grand skyscrapers, this building celebrates its rise above low-rise offices, making it not just a symbol of Frankfurt's economy, but of Germany's attempts to pioneer eco-architectural design.
Commerzbank Headquarters, Kaiserplatz 1, Frankfurt, Germany
The Shard, London
Height: 310 meters
Cost to build: $666 million
Completion date: November 2012
Fast fact: Architect Renzo Piano made the first rough sketch of The Shard on the back of a restaurant menu in Berlin in 2000.
In a city as architecturally mature as London, it takes something special to get eyeballs away from Westminster Palace, St. Paul's Cathedral and the Tower of London.
The Shard did it, slicing up the skyline and the record books with its 310-meter height overtaking the Commerzbank Headquarters in Frankfurt by nine meters, to become the highest building in the European Union.