It seems as if the Western worlds blog-fueled fascination with wacky Chinese buildings has reached the upper echelons of Chinas government. Chinese president Xi Jinping, who surely must hate fun or something, has asked for an end to Chinas “weird architecture.”
Over the past decade or so, Chinas construction boom has yielded many buildings that look like other things, along with a penchant for creating knock-off structures to rival even that of the U.S. This is largely understood to be the work of planners and developers who equate striking “modern” buildings with “international,” less “provincial” cities, and the architects willing to give them what they want.
“No more weird architecture,” said Xi in a speech at a literary symposium last week, reports the Peoples Daily, one of Chinas official state newspapers. Dezeen translated the comments, and also pointed out the very ironic fact that the new HQ of the Peoples Daily “came under fire last year after being compared to a giant penis.” Xi specifically called out Rem Koolhaas CCTV headquarters building—nicknamed “big pants,” because it looks like a big pair of pants—echoing earlier criticisms of the project.