Thursday, 10 January 2013

Seeing double: Chongqing architects accused of copying Zaha Hadid's last project in China

Imitation in China may have reached new heights with a set of towers that strongly resemble ones designed by the world famous architect Zaha Hadid, who has become a superstar also in China where she is realizing 11 projects across the country. One of her project seems to have been pirated: the Wangjing Soho, a complex of three towers similar to curved sails, sculpted in stone and etched with wave-like aluminium bands.

Zaha Hadid's Galaxy Soho in Wangjing
A team of Chinese architect projected buildings in Chongqing, a megacity near the eastern edge of the Tibetan plateau, which appears to be a carbon copy of the Hadid's one, with the round contours and white stripes.

Meiquan 22nd Century in Chongqing
The archistar is willling to take legal action but the developer's of Meiquan's building claim innocence, insisting at a press conference that the project was inspired not by Hadid's curves, but rather by the cobblestone on the bank of the Yangtze river by whcih Chongqing was built.

As to a possible lawsuit for copyright infringement, China's copyright law includes protection for works of architecture. Yet, You Yunting, a Shangai-based lawyer and founder of an online journal on intellectual property issues, said that Hadid could have good chance of winning litigation, but the court will probably not force the infringer to pull the infringing building down, but  only order the payment of compensation.

Hadid's copy is one of the most copycat cases currently happening in China, though in most of them the architect is dead since a long time or impossible to name. We can find in China a 108 meter Eiffel Tower on Champs Elysées Square in Tianducheng near Shangai, or even the exact replica of the Austrian alpine town Hallstatt in Guandong Province or a residential complex which recreates the British city of Dorchester in Chengdu and so on.

Archeologist Jack Carlson, writing in foreign policy magazine argues that copying of architectural culture is a  way for China to assert global primacy. What do you think about that?

You can see more on the guardian 

For more information look here


Anonymous said...

Look closely:

(1) Hadid's buildings have more floors (more and denser horizontal lines). thus, Meiquan buildings cannot be "carbon copies". You can also count the floors to note the differences in height.

(2) Hadid's buildings have sharper edges, Meiquan builds are distinctively "rounder" along the sides.

(3) Meiquan's high tower has a "dent" on 1 of its flat face. Hadid's high tower does not.

Angela said...

You perfectly marked the differences between the two projects which are, in my opinion, very few in comparison with the similarities existing between those buildings.

At a fist glance or on overall impression, the Meiquan project clearly appears as a carbon copy of the Hadid's one.