Planet China

Tall story

According to a new report by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, China will be home to 10 of the world’s 20 tallest skyscrapers by 2020. It will also house some of the world’s quirkiest structures. Longtime readers of WiC will recall the odd shape of the CCTV Building (known by Beijingers as ‘The Underpants’, see issue 3), and likewise our story about an Anhui hotel shaped like a ping-pong paddle (see WiC101).

News broke last week that Chongqing wants to join the fray, with a strangely shaped building of its own. As seen in the architect’s illustration, the proposed skyscraper on the south bank of the Yangtze river resembles two Chinese characters. Scheduled to begin construction next year, the 280-metre high complex will pay homage to China’s writing system. Both characters (identical except for their respective sizes) mean ‘people’. Linguistic experts sourced by website China Smack add that the manner in which the characters are sited together also resembles another character: the ‘qing’ in Chongqing’s name.

Of course, netizens have been quick to pan the design as ridiculous. One said it reminded him of the prow scene from the movie Titanic, while another said it was a waste of money and clearly the brainwave of an egomaniacal government official.

At a more practical level, one blogger pointed out a possible commercial problem: who would want to rent the space around the building’s ‘crotch’?


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