23 August 2019
The Beijing Tianzi Hotel features Chinese deities. Photo: internet
The Beijing Tianzi Hotel features Chinese deities. Photo: internet

No more ugly buildings, let architects do their job, cadres told

In the headlong rush toward urbanization, China has developed a building complex resulting in many grand monuments, some edgy, some bold and some kitschy.

But one province would have no more ugly buildings.

To that end, cadres in Anhui have been told by the provincial government not to let their personal preference interfere with the design of public buildings and to respect the professionalism of architects, Xinhua News Agency reported over the weekend.

Anhui was in the spotlight in 2007 for a government building modeled after the US Capitol in an impoverished district in Fuyang city.

And questions and eyebrows were raised in 2011 over the design of an Olympic park in Huainan city that sports four venues shaped like a football, American football, volleyball and basketball. The proposed hotel in the 1.8 billion yuan (US$292 million) park takes the form of a table tennis bat.

Elsewhere in China, the Fang Yuan Building — in the shape of a giant ancient Chinese coin — in Shenyang, Liaoning province, was once listed by CNN as one of the world’s 10 ugliest buildings.

In Suzhou, Jiangsu province, the US$746 million Gate of the East has been likened to a pair of long johns.

The capital Beijing could not be outdone. As architectural wonders go, the People’s Daily headquarters should take the piss when fully erected. 

Back in Anhui, the authorities said in a document it will actively try to establish an assessment system for design drafts of large public buildings. The public and experts will be involved in the decision-making process in order to avoid odd or copycat designs.

What’s more, new public buildings should also be designed for energy-efficiency, the report said.

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Fuyang’s government office building is modeled after the US Capitol. Photo: internet

The Fang Yuan Building in Shenyang, Liaoning province, features the shape of a coin. Photo: internet

The Gate of the East (left) takes pride of place in Suzhou, Jiangsu province. The People’s Daily headquarters (right) takes shape in Beijing. Photo: internet

The Daohuaxiang Liquor building (left) in Yichang, Hubei province, and the Wuliangye Yibin building in Yibin, Sichuan province, are in the shape of liquor bottles. Photo: internet

A rendering of Huainan’s Olympic park shows what games would be played in which venue. Photo: internet

EJ Insight reporter

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