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China is banning Copycat Architecture
Published on: 2020-05-20
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An Eiffel Tower in in Hangzhou which is located in eastern Chinas Zhejiang provinceAn Eiffel Tower in in Hangzhou, which is located in eastern China’s Zhejiang province

Did you know that there’s an Eiffel Tower in China? Or that Le Corbusier’s famous Ronchamp chapel for a time appeared in Zhengzhou? For years, the world’s most populous country has been a site for an odd variety of architectural replicas. But now, it seems as if that’s going to change. The Chinese government has banned further construction of “copycat” buildings, a popular architectural trend wherein builders in cities across China pay rather direct homage to European architecture and other foreign landmarks.

The copycat construction of the Great Sphinx of Giza in Hebei ProvinceThe copycat construction of the Great Sphinx of Giza in Hebei Province

The policy, announced by joint decree from China’s Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, as well as the National Development and Reform Commission, aims to “strictly prohibit plagiarizing, imitating, and copycatting designs of other buildings,”. The guidelines will also limit new skyscraper construction, imposing a maximum height of 500 meters in most cases.

Suzhous Tower Bridge based on the bridge found in LondonSuzhou's Tower Bridge, based on the bridge found in London
Examples of copycat architecture include a “Thames Town” 40 minutes outside of Shanghai, a makeshift Paris (complete with that Eiffel Tower) in Hangzhou, and a knockoff of Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands hotel in Chongqing. There’s even a replica of the White House in Jiangsu province. The notorious practice has even inspired complaints from foreign governments. A re-creation of the Great Sphinx was demolished in 2016 after a complaint from the Egyptian government, only for it to be rebuilt two years later in the same spot.

Window Of The World ShenzhenWindow Of The World, Shenzhen

“山寨”建筑不能再建了

从英国城镇到高山村庄,再到艾菲尔铁塔,各地都能看到外国建筑的复制品。但是现在,政府发布通知,禁止这种模范、山寨的外国建筑。住房和城乡建设部、国家发改委近日发布《关于进一步加强城市与建筑风貌管理的通知》,各地要把市级体育场馆、展览馆、博物馆、大剧院等超大体量公共建筑作为城市重大建筑项目进行管理,严禁建筑抄袭、模仿、山寨行为。

建筑物“体现了城市的文化”,而“大型,异国和怪异”的设计应该受到限制。该通知还限制了新的摩天大楼,通常将其限制为最高500米。呼吁建立一个“新时代”的建筑,以“增强文化自信心,展现城市特色,展现当代精神,展现中国特色”。

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