The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.
Gustave Flaubert

Thursday 28 February 2013


At best, architectural mimicry: at worst, blatant infringement of architects' copyright. There has been a rash of instances of duplitecture in China in recent years: in January 2013 The Guardian reported on a building being erected in Chongqing that bore an uncanny resemblance to a building (or actually three buildings) being built near Shanghai, the work of Zaha Hadid, the Iraqi-born British "starchitect".

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 (and a UNESCO World Heritage Site), Dorchester (the Dorset one), and the Eiffel Tower. Another interesting commentary on the phenomenon 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.

Hadid memorably says of 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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