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GDPE Landmark Building, Guangzhou, China

Monday 13 Feb 2012

More luck than judgement?

All images: AM Progetti 
Your comments on this project

No. of Comments: 18

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24/02/12 JV, LA
hmmm.....well...i suppose the rectangle has been overused....
21/02/12 Richard C, Johannesburg SA
It is not that it does the job badly, it is just that it makes no effort to transcend the basic metaphor. Symbolism is a rich repository of appropriate cultural forms and images, not a cut-and-paste library. The design of this building should have started where in this case it ended.
20/02/12 Andrew, Brisbane
I'm not an expert in Chinese Feng Shui, but while the disk and water have links to luck and wealth I don't think the triangle works here. It looks somewhat structural but the triangle represents fire and fire and buildings don't go together.
19/02/12 Haitham, Atlanta
What a ridiculous building!!
It is so naive and tacky!!! A disgrace!!!!
16/02/12 Jenifer Nicholls, Melbourne
If form follows function .... let's hope it rolls away really quickly!
15/02/12 joseph, london
Many comments say that the project is too obvious and everyone can design it. Then why there is no other building like this and why this website pointed out the building? I think the shape has something that attracts involving psychology of the people. The "empty center" urges to be filled. The negative comments just stop to the bidimensional facade, but they should consider the tridimensional, the depth of the building that reveals the very good quality of the design. Hence the building looks stupid only to the stupid observer, and it looks clever for the clever ones. I think this building is something new, is a sort of "iconism architecture" that wakes up something deep in the people's psyche. But beyond this is a real building nothing to do with the "giant sandwiches" or all the "pop" approach.
When something new is coming up people need to find something similar to compare and to "feel safe" facing the "scaring" innovation.
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15/02/12 pedersen, denmark
Hard to see the difference from this and the long ridicules American buildings that not just resembles, but are enlarged copies of fish, sausgaes or binoculars. At best, the building is a joke, but who wants to be told the same joke every day for the next 10, 20 or 50 years? Builings should be builings, not images.
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15/02/12 Reuven G. Yativ, Jerusalem, ISRAEL
Well, well ... the Almighty should save us from architects' caprices! As one who studid architecture I got to the conclusion, that sometimes there are all kinds of weird plans, thoughts, that when given the right opportunity, it just bursts out from the respective archutect and we all have to "enjoy" these whimsical deeds. Not to mention that we also generally have to pay for them ...
On the other hand, eventually there have to be all kinds of works, maybe we will have a revelation, a new gem from these capricious acts.
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15/02/12 ArkitHex, Bergerac
Good architecture always brings a passionate response. Not always favourable.But it will be a famous and instantly recognizable landmark and symbol, like the Sydney Opera House, the Lloyds Building in London, the mayor of london's Offcice etc etc.
Not too sure what the middle hole is. A restaurant/an art gallery/both? Will it be glazed? We need more information.
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15/02/12 Barie Fez-Barringten, North Fort Myers
My newest book may be of interest as you are making such an overt metaphor.

Architecture: The Making of Metaphors
Author: Barie Fez-Barringten
Date Of Publication: Feb 2012
Isbn13: 978-1-4438-3517-6
Isbn: 1-4438-3517-X
The authors writings are based on his lecture series presented in 1968 at Yale University called “Architecture: The Making of Metaphors” which was then published in part in Main Currents in Modern Thought, then in many other journals including research into the works of Paul Weiss, Andrew Ortony, David Zarefsky and W. J. J. Gordon.
Barie Fez-Barringten is an Associate Professor at Global University in the United States. Currently, Barie is writing articles and speaking on architecture, urbanism and Saudi Arabia, and has recently published two books: Gibe and Legend. Barie is often invited to present his inspiring life story to students in public schools, colleges and universities.
In 2008, he was a Design Manager for Barwa City in Qatar and spent twenty years as an architect, business manager and project manager in Saudi Arabia, including teaching for five years at King Faisal University. As a Professor at KFU, he wrote over twenty monographs on metaphors and architecture which were widely published in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, England, America, Finland and Lebanon.
Price Uk Gbp: 39.99; Price Us Usd: 59.99
The authors writings are based on his lecture series presented in 1968 at Yale University called “Architecture: The Making of Metaphors” which was then published in part in Main Currents in Modern Thought, then in many other journals including research into the works of Paul Weiss, Andrew Ortony, David Zarefsky and W. J. J. Gordon.
Order at Amazon.com and/or
Cambridge Scholars Publishing Ltd is registered in England.
Companies House Reg. Number: 4333775
VAT number: 828642212
12 Back Chapman Street; Newcastle upon Tyne; NE6 2XX; United Kingdom
Fax number: 44 191 265 2056
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'Lucky' coin-inspired structure on Pearl River, Guangzhou, meets mixed reviews online 

Construction is pushing on with rapid pace at a significant waterside scheme on the Pearl River, Guangzhou, designed by Italian architect Joseph di Pasquale for the Guangdong Plastics Exchange. The 33-storey commercial facility has been inspired by the jade Bi Disks synonymous with rank and moral excellence throughout Chinese history and chief engineer on the project, Wang Zhanshan, has detailed: “It’s a real fusion of Western and Chinese design. The distinctive feature of the building is that it is shaped like an old Chinese jade or a waterwheel and also has good feng shui for attracting fortune. A golden coin, jade or waterwheel alongside the river means luck to Cantonese: Water brings money.”

The use of jade Bi Disks dates back to the Neolithic period, with the circular items becoming gradually more ornate as time progressed. Images of deities or intricately patterned engravings grace the majority of Bi Disks which were given as gifts to the elite and often buried with them. The symbolism ingrained in this tradition has been carried through to modern times, with the reverse of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Medals reminiscent of a Bi Disk. Once completed, the building will be used as a warehouse, public information space and research centre.

Joseph di Pasquale’s practice, AM Progetti, may have taken inspiration from a deep-rooted Chinese tradition, but as their final concept grows closer to realisation, so the cloud of critique that surrounds it has blackened. Shenzhen Daily ran a piece last week entitled ‘Thumbs down for “lucky” office in GZ’ which criticised the 1bn Yuan scheme, quoting a disappointed internet reviewer who drew parallels between the GDPE Landmark Building and ‘the ugly Fangyuan Building in Shenyang’. The Telegraph also questioned the design, suggesting that locals resent the effect that the structure could have on their skyline, again drawing links to the Fangyuan Building.

When completed - allegedly by the end of 2012 - the cylindrical building will reach 138m in height with a 47m-diameter hole in the centre. The brief provided to AM Progetti demanded a ‘landmark’ building that would stay in the hearts and minds of visitors to the Pearl River whilst creating a strong link between the building and town through the integration of local traditions. As a result of detailed research and consideration, the architects decided to incorporate ‘the traditions of the Nanyue King we visited in the Museum of Nanyue King Tomb Treasures in Guangzhou’. They continue: “We consider the shape of the double jade disk as the strongest shape inspiration and the perfect starting point for the GDPE Landmark Building design.” The School of Architecture of South China University of Technology also collaborated on the design.

Let us know your thoughts in the 'Your Comments' section.

Key Facts

Status Under construction
Value 0(m€)
Were you involved in this scheme?
AM Progetti S.r.l.

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