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Is China becoming the laughing stock of international architecture?

Gate to the East, Suzhou, China


For every resounding success like Beijing’s Bird’s Nest Stadium, it seems, there’s a building that looks like a giant pair of pants. Well, at least one.

With the 74-story Gate to the East building nearing completion in Suzhou, concerns are growing that China is becoming the playground for international architecture firms to sell their strangest, half-cocked ideas.

The 4.5bn yuan (US$ 732 million) building was meant to look like a giant version of the Arc de Arc de Triomphe in Paris, but as the structure grew locals noted that it began to look more like a pair of trousers. It has now been condemned as a further example of the increasingly odd foreign creations appearing on Chinese skylines.

“Any design that can not be sold in foreign countries can come to China and sell at a good price,” wrote one blogger on China’s popular Weibo site.

COMMENT:  The Gate to the East will likely get more visitors because the “trouser effect.”  If the object is to get media attention and tourists to visit and take pictures, it’s not a fail at all.  They might as well just embrace it… give it a plaid exterior and put a golf course around it. 



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