Last year the netizens of China got together and voted on the most bizarre buildings in the “Outrageous Architecture Championship of China”. This event helped raise awareness about the ever-receding limits of Chinese design since the booming economy began.

This year, voting was held again. However, rather than Chinese nationals, foreigners were called upon to judge which buildings were the funniest, gaudiest, and most confusing of the lot. The results were presented by Ben Hedges in his program: A Laowai’s View of China. Let’s see what they were.

#10 – Fangyuan Mansion & Guangdong Plastics Exchange Headquarters

These two buildings in Liaong Province and Guangdong Province, respectively, came in at number 10 for their design of perforated circular shape and holes in the center. Normally, these buildings would look kind of cool. However, in Asia these shapes resemble coins which give them the ostentatious edge of someone who only recently came into money. It’d be like someone making a building in the shape of a dollar sign in America.

#9 – Huainan Ping-Pong Building

This building is located in the Anhui Olympic Park. As the name suggests, it was designed to resemble a giant table tennis racket stuck in the ground. However, most foreigners who voted thought it looked more like a flask of hootch.

#8 – Gate of the Orient

This lovely building in Jiangsu Province is certainly not the first pair of buildings that join at the upper floors. It was likely intended to resemble water gates that can found in Suzhou City’s many canals. Still, there was something it their particular contours that led viewers to see little more than a giant pair of pants.

#7 – New Famen Temple

This temple in Shaanxi Province is a pagoda inside a massive diamond which resembles hands in prayer. Its elegant design spooks fans of Dragon Ball who felt as if they were about to be blasted by Tien Shinhan’s Tri-Beam

#6 – Yuan Baoting & Yuan Baota

Kind of looking like a golden hat or gyoza-tree, these structures in Heibei Province again resemble a kind of money. Over a century ago China used sycees (a type of ingot) for currency, so looking at these structures can take us back to the good old days when people walked around with bathtub-shaped money.

#5 – Fake White House

This one’s actually more of a hybrid of the Capitol and the White House and serves as a municipal government building for Fuyang City in Anhui Province. We can’t blame them for biting the US’s style, since they were largely influenced by ancient Greek architecture themselves. We can, however, get a dirty feeling from the lavishness of this public office while many in the area go hungry.

#4 – Jade Emperor Statue

The Jade Emperor is a type of supreme being in Chinese mythology and was depicted in a suitably large monument in a mountain in Chongqing City. He certainly seems powerful as the back of his head looks like it can be used as a parking garage.

#3 – China Pavilion, Shanghai World Expo

This structure was meant to resemble the emperor’s crown, but many foreigners just saw it as an upside-down pyramid or big pot.

#2 – Emperor Hotel

These three statues of happy giants are actually one big hotel. All of the rooms are located inside the giants’ bodies, which can make you feel as if you’re living in a Gundam. This ten-story hotel in Hebei Province was the previous year’s top “Outrageous Building” but had been easily unseated by a newcomer in this year’s contest. When you see it we think you’ll know why.

#1 – People’s Daily Building

There’s something about this newly-erected building that makes people uncomfortable. Serving as the corporate headquarters for China’s state-controlled newspaper it stands as a large and imposingly masculine symbol of their power. We understand now why they were so into those mouse pads a while back.

As presenter Ben from England pointed out, there’s a lot of similarity between this and London’s 30 St Mary Axe.

I wouldn’t say they’re that similar though; China’s one is clearly circumcised.

Ben, who has worked as a reporter in China, points out that the construction of these types of buildings at a disturbing rate is threatening to the beauty of China’s more traditional architecture.

It’s difficult to say though; preserving tradition is absolutely important but through experimentation and borrowing ideas from other lands helps to create news styles worthy of becoming traditions. On the other hand, with any kind of experimentation you’re always going to come up with a few duds…

Source: YouTube – A Laowai’s View of China (Chinese)
Ben Hedges on facebook
DBZ Video: YouTube – mattmanguy
Original Article by Megumi Sawai

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