Beijing is set it enforce guidelines for a more uniform skyline if a statement by a government official is to be believed.
A recent backlash against “weird buildings” escalated when the capital’s vice mayor, Chen Gang, announced that the city would be taking a greater role in influencing the aesthetics of its structures.
According to the China Daily , the Vice Mayor made the comments during a conference promoting “inheritance and innovation in architectural culture”. “City planners are to consider the overall style of city buildings. Dimensions, scale, style, color, shape, and materials must conform to standard regulations,” he said.
Beijing already issued an announcement back in 2000 to encourage its buildings to use gray as the primary hue for exteriors.
In recent years, Beijing has seen several new “strange-looking” structures added to its skyline, including the SOHO Galaxy near the Chaoyangmen subway station, with its egg shaped retail and office space and the 2008 National Olympic Stadium known worldwide as the “birds nest”.
This all comes after President Xi Jinping made a ‘two-hour speech at a literary symposium‘ in October of this year, where he called for morally inspiring art that should, “be like sunshine from the blue sky and the breeze in spring that will inspire minds, warm hearts, cultivate taste and clean up undesirable work styles”.
As The Wall Street Journal reported: “Mr. Xi also said buildings such as the CCTV headquarters, which is one of Beijing’s most iconic towers and is nicknamed “Big Pants” for its design akin to trousers, ‘should no longer pop up in the city'”.
President Xi’s criticism comes at a time when China is just beginning to gain international attention for its architectural designs. In 2012, Wang Shu, an architect based in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, became the first Chinese to win the Pritzker Prize -which is arguably the most prestigious award in architecture. According to the prizes’ official website the purpose of the prize is:
To honor a living architect or architects whose built work demonstrates a combination of those qualities of talent, vision, and commitment, which has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture.
Below are some of TWOC’s favorite “weird buildings” in Beijing:
Phoenix International Media Centre
The National Stadium
National Aquatics Center
Images courtesy of Travelblog.org