China bans ‘bizarre architecture’

Nick Myall
Friday 26 Feb 2016

The Chinese government demands an end to ‘weird architecture’ after leaders met for the Central Urban Work Conference

China has become well known for some of the most daring and eye-catching architecture of the 21st century, however that could be coming to an end following the release of a new directive which will have major implications for architects and construction companies operating in China. The Chinese government has banned "bizarre architecture", and criticised some of the "oversized, xenocentric, weird" buildings in the country. 

For several years China has hosted a wide range of controversial structures, including one 10 storey building shaped like a teapot in Wuxi, Jiangsu province, which opened last year. Another building, the headquarters of China Central Television (CCTV), was named the Best Tall Building Worldwide from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat in 2013, yet some have called it "big pants" due to its resemblance to a pair of trousers (pictured).

Copies of famous Western landmarks, such as the White House, Eiffel Tower and London Bridge can also be spotted in many towns across the country.

Under the new directive, buildings must to be "economical, functional, aesthetically pleasing" and "environmentally friendly".

The government document states that there will be a greater emphasis on prefabricated buildings going forward, and there will be a crackdown on designs or construction techniques it perceives to be wasteful, impractical, expensive, or aesthetically displeasing. The document goes on to state that the government will use satellites to monitor urban sprawl and to look out for construction companies who are breaking the new rules.

The directive also requires that illegal structures in cities be removed in the next five years or so and authorities throughout the country ensure the safety and quality of construction projects and urban buildings.

The new directive comes as concerns relating to China’s rapid urbanization, such as air pollution, safety, and traffic jams have grown in recent years.

Nick Myall

News Editor

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