Thursday, 10 January 2013

Chinese copying of architectural works

Last Monday's Guardian contained the story of a building being errected in Chongqing that bore an uncanny resemblence to a building (or actually three buildings) being built near Shanghai, the work of Zaha Hadid, the Iraqi-born British "starchitect" as featured on Dream Builders on BBC World Service radio not long ago - or so I thought: it doesn't get a mention on the BBC website's Dream Builders pages.

The Guardian - the article is by Oliver Wainwright - sets this latest bit of copying in the context of other Chinese copies, including Hallstatt, a village in Austria, Dorchester (the Dorset one), and the Eiffel Tower. Another interesting commentary on the phenomonen is to be found in Foreign Policy, by Jack Carlson, here (a few months old, and not covering the Hadid work). It's also reported in Spiegel, and the Art and Artifice blog has the story too. So there's not much I need to say, except that I was very impressed with what Hadid had to say about the line between copying and taking inspiration: "It is fine to take from the same well – but not from the same bucket."

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