China developer 'copies' star architect's design

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 the southwestern city of 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 in China.

Satoshi Ohashi, project director at Zaha Hadid Architects for the Beijing complex, told Der Spiegel 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 ripoffs in a country already notorious for imitating foreign products without permission -- but the developer of the Chongqing project, Meiquan 22nd Century, has denied 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.

Hadid was the first woman to win architecture's prestigious Pritzker prize.

Her avant-garde designs have been in high demand in China, where she has a granite and glass opera house in the southern city of Guangzhou and an arts centre under construction in Chengdu, among other projects.

China's ability to reproduce foreign products is best known for imitation luxury purses and copies of Hollywood films. But knockoffs have ranged from a three-dollar version of Kate Middleton's engagement ring to fake Apple stores and an entire Austrian village.

In 2012 a developer unveiled a recreation of the centuries-old alpine hamlet of Hallstatt, a UNESCO World Heritage site, in what the state-run news agency Xinhua called "a bold example of China's knock-off culture".

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Rising number of trafficked fishermen alarms Tawi-Tawi authorities VERA Files - The Inbox
    Rising number of trafficked fishermen alarms Tawi-Tawi authorities

    By Jake Soriano, VERA Files Bongao, Tawi-Tawi—Tawi-Tawi authorities are alarmed at the growing number of fishermen from the Visayas who end up here after being recruited by human trafficking syndicates to engage in dangerous compressor diving. The latest case involves … Continue reading → …

  • The return of Gigi Reyes Ellen Tordesillas, Contributor - The Inbox
    The return of Gigi Reyes

    By Ellen T.Tordesillas This is going to be fascinating. Atty. Gigi Reyes, former chief of staff of Sen. Juan Ponce-Enrile who is included among those accused of plunder in connection with the misuse of Priority Development Assistance Fund, came back … Continue reading → …

  • Viernes Santo in Kalibo VERA Files - The Inbox
    Viernes Santo in Kalibo

    Photos by Little Wing Luna, VERA Files Text by Mitch Meñez Kalibo, Aklan--Viernes Santo or Good Friday is the most solemn of all the days in Holy Week. It commemorates the Passion and Death of Jesus on the Cross. The … Continue reading → …

POLL
Loading...
Poll Choice Options