China is no stranger to unashamedly ripping off landmark Western structures—the country has replicas of the Eiffel Tower and several renditions of the White House. However, this time they have copied one of their own architects, I. M. Pei, with a 1:1 duplicate of the Louvre in a Shijiazhuang theme park. The latest addition to the country's collection of replica Parisian architecture lies among overgrown shrubs and unkempt grass in an obscure amusement park in Hebei province. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it sits adjacent to an ancient Egyptian Sphynx. China has already created "Little Paris" in Yuhang, Hangzhou, Zhejiang (East China), which features more mock-Parisian style architecture replete with Tower de Eiffel (though not the real one, obviously). Is this latest piece of "mockitecture" a tipping point or a simply one of more to come?
Posts tagged with "Pirates":
Aye, those swashbucklin' pirates are at it again, matey! This time, though, they're not after gold, DVDs, or designer purses, but the identities of architects. The Guardian's Jonathan Glancey relates that Chinese firms posing as British officers of Aedas and Broadway Maylan have been pursuing bids with false information. He points out the dangers that such a development might entail for the profession and wonders if starchitects like Zaha Hadid could be the next victims. The troubling news broke recently in the British magazine Building, revealing the first two cases of archi-piracy. From the Guardian:
[A]t least two prominent British practices have been hit by a wave of identity theft at the hands of Chinese impostors, which have cloned their websites and submitted bids for building projects under their names... "They took information from our website and bid for projects. They had been submitting bids mainly for government projects before we found out."It seems like such a ruse would be difficult to carry out for long, but the point could be just to make a quick buck and get out. In the cases cited above, one Chinese identity thief was successfully prosecuted in China but the other disappeared without a trace. Glancey posits, "But will the web pirates begin to raid British practices with a higher design profile? If Aedas and Broadway Maylan, why not Foster and Partners and Zaha Hadid?" Aye, it's enough to make one tremble with schadenfreude, ain't it?[ Via Guardian, photo via John Picken / flickr. ]