Modern, weird or just ugly? China’s most bizarre buildings: Top 10

© Jason Lee / Reuters; Sachin Agrawal / James Singlador / Facebook
Chinese President Xi Jinping recently called for less “weird architecture” to be built, and in February the State Council released a statement forbidding the construction of “bizarre” and “odd-shaped” buildings. Why all the fuss? Just have a look!

We’ve made a list of China’s top 10 architectural eyesores for you. But let us stress (of course) that tastes may differ and beauty (or ugliness) is in the eye of the beholder…

1. Beijing Daxing International Airport

Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid died following a sudden heart attack last month. Praised as the greatest female architect in history, the 65-year-old Iraqi-British pioneer left behind many unfinished legacies, one of which is in Beijing. Considered to be the world’s largest airport terminal, the Beijing Daxing International Airport covers a whopping 2,680 hectares and is scheduled for completion in 2019. But when a bird’s-eye view design of Hadid’s masterpiece was leaked online, many Weibo users mocked it for its alleged resemblance to a reproductive organ.

2. Sheraton Hotel – Xiamen

This Sheraton Hotel located in Xiamen, Fujian Province is literally plated in gold from top to bottom. The building inspired Chinese internet users to come up with the phrase “local tyrant gold” to mock the extravagant lifestyles shared by the country’s “rich showoffs.”

© James Singlador

3. Louis Vuitton Flagship Store, a.k.a. the LV Tower – Shanghai

This 24-floor building, which is shaped like a giant boot, is luxury brand Louis Vuitton’s largest flagship store in the world. The complex consists of a four-story shopping area and is collaboration between Japanese architect Jun Aoki and Hong Kong-based firm Leigh & Orange.

4. The Fang Yuan Building, Shenyang

This 25-story structure is what some would call an ugly ending to a weird mix of ideas. Located in the northeastern capital of Liaoning Province, Taiwanese architect C.Y. Lee wanted the structure to look like an old Chinese coin – hence the square center of the circular structure. But Lee also drew inspiration from garden-like features, as shown in the concrete base, steel rims and glass grooves.

© imgur.com

5. The Mobile Phone Building, Kunming

This building in the shape of a gigantic mobile phone is one of the strangest additions to the skyline of Kunming, Yunnan Province. The 11-story structure uses different window clusters to resemble the buttons and screen on a cellphone. Many residents see it as a new landmark for the city.

© Sachin Agrawal

6. Tianzi (Son of the Heaven) Hotel, Sanhe

This 10-story building was built in the shape of Fu, Lu and Shou, the Chinese gods of fortune, prosperity and longevity. Located in the city of Sanhe, east of Beijing, it was completed in 2001. The “peach of immortality” that Shou holds in his left hand is the hotel’s suite – the two holes are its windows.

7. Wuliangye Building, Yibin

Located in the southwestern province of Sichuan, the headquarters of the Wuliangye group is literally a blown-up version of the company’s trademark product – baijiu, or white spirit. In fact, the entire complex is lined with meters-tall bottles of the Chinese liquor. Some Weibo users call it the “alcoholic Alice in Wonderland theme park.”

8. Guangzhou Circle, Guanzhou

The 138-metre tall and 33-story round skyscraper is the headquarters of Hongda Xingye Group and the Guangdong Plastic Exchange. Italian architect Joseph di Pasquale said his inspiration came from jade discs and fengshui, hence the hole in the middle of the structure to resemble an ancient Chinese coin.

© Alex Lee / Reuters

9. People’s Daily Headquarters, Beijing

Before it was even fully built, web users often mocked the state-backed newspaper People’s Daily’s headquarters as a golden phallus. The finished product now looks like a futuristic rocket shooting into the sky, but that hasn’t stopped jokes and Photoshop jobs from appearing on social media.

© Jason Lee

10. CCTV Headquarters – a.k.a. Big Pants, Beijing

Chinese state broadcaster CCTV’s headquarters is the pinnacle of all weird architecture in the country. Designed by world renowned Dutch architecture firm OMA, the 54-story complex consists of two L-shaped structures connected geometrically at the top and bottom. Web users have been describing it as an enormous pair of boxer shorts since its construction was completed in 2012.

© Jason Lee