• Mon
  • Dec 22, 2014
  • Updated: 12:46am

Chongqing architect accused of copying Zaha Hadid's Beijing building

PUBLISHED : Friday, 04 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 04 January, 2013, 9:17am

Already famed for fake designer bags and pirated DVDs, imitation in China may have reached new heights with a set of towers that strongly resemble ones designed by renowned architect Zaha Hadid.

A developer in Chongqing is putting up buildings that share the distinctive round contours and white stripes of a 39-floor shopping and office complex conceived by the British-Iraqi designer and being built in Beijing.

The magazine China Intellectual Property noted that the "design sketch indeed shows certain similarities", and listed several buildings by the developer that resembled others elsewhere on the mainland.

Satoshi Ohashi, project director at Zaha Hadid Architects for the Beijing complex, told Der Speigel Online: "It is possible that the Chongqing pirates got hold of some digital files or renderings of the project."

It could rank among the more flagrant rip-offs in a country already notorious for imitating foreign products without permission, but the developer of the Chongqing project, Meiquan 22nd Century, denied involvement with any copying.

Such accusations "do not conform with the truth" and "have had a negative impact" on the company, general manager Yao Yumao said at an earlier press conference, according to a transcript published online.

China's ability to copy foreign products is best known for imitation luxury handbags and copies of Hollywood films. But knock-offs range from a US$3 version of Kate Middleton's engagement ring to fake Apple stores and an entire Austrian village.

Last year a developer unveiled a re-creation of the centuries-old alpine hamlet of Hallstatt, a Unesco World Heritage site, in what Xinhua called "a bold example of China's knock-off culture".


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This article is now closed to comments

granted I'm not an architect, but I wouldn't say that it's a knock-off. the chongqing buildings are totally within the realm of acceptability. No foul there.
Rest assured that if anybody did the same with the design of the Bird's Nest, the authorities would immediately intervene. The law does not apply equally for all. Copying, stealing and cheating are all OK in China as long as one does not get caught or offends the wrong people. Only naïve people believe the contrary. Then people wonder why innovation and creativity is lacking.
the chongqing plans do not look like an exact copy, just an imitation of the style. get over yourselves. PLEASE!


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