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74-storey gateway in Suzhou, China receives internet backlash as it nears completion

The Gate to the East, an RMJM-designed 74-storey gateway in Suzhou, has come under fire from local media and online bloggers who have compared it to ‘a pair of giant underpants’.

Comparisons have previously been made between the £445m skyscraper and the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, however as the structure began to take shape, responses have become more negative. One micro-blogger suggested walking through the Gate of the East would be ‘humiliating’, ‘like being forced to crawl between someone else’s legs’.

Of their design RMJM explains: “The design for the Gate to the East was inspired by the combined Chinese traditions and western influences of the project’s two lead designers. The result is a mix of westernised pure form and Chinese subtlety. The Gate to the East introduces a dramatic iconic ‘gateway’ to the city of Suzhou and represents the significance of China in the world today.” Construction is due to complete by the end of 2012.

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