China Takes Steps to Stop its “Weird Architecture”

CCTV by OMA. Image Courtesy of OMA
CCTV by OMA. Image Courtesy of OMA

China has become home to some of the world’s most outlandish architectural landmarks of the 21st century. Hangzhou is home to a replica of the Eiffel Tower, located in a luxury real estate development, andShanghai’s World Financial Center is often referred to as “The World’s Largest Bottle Opener.” However, all of these zany designs may soon come to a halt following a directive issued by the State Council, China’s cabinet, and the Communist Party’s Central Committee on Sunday, reports the New York Times.

The directive says “no” to any architecture considered “oversized, xenocentric, weird, and devoid of cultural tradition.” In their place should be buildings designed as “suitable, economic, green, and pleasing to the eye.”

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Shanghai Skyline. Image © flickr user januski83, licensed under CC BY 2.0

Shanghai Skyline. Image © flickr user januski83, licensed under CC BY 2.0

The directive also called for an end to gated residential communities. These guidelines were released after the Chinese government held a meeting to discuss issues related to China’s rapid urbanization. Currently, more than 700 million people live within China’s cities.

The directive follows a nearly two hour speech given by Chinese President Xi Jinping in the fall of 2014, calling for the end of these “weird buildings,” particularly in the nation’s capital, Beijing. Once seen as a “starchitect’s playground,” containing buildings like OMA’s CCTV, known as “big pants” to the locals, the country will no longer fund these types of iconic buildings when it comes to public projects.

“For private housing or commercial projects there is still space for innovation,” Wang Kai, vice president of the China Academy of Urban Planning and Design, under the Ministry of Construction, told the New York Times.

News via New York Times

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