Icons or eyesores: from pyramid block to pants tower
China's sweeping urbanization and construction boom have spawned a plethora of weird buildings
Photos of a new residential estate in the eastern Chinese city of Suzhou have gone viral in the nation’s cyberspace over the unorthodox design that resembles a pyramid.
The estate, called Youzhan Future City, developed by a local realty firm, is now reeling in different views from architects and visitors. Some hail it as a new form of post-modernism that marks a striking departure from the norm, while other wags remark that those suffering from trypophobia – an aversion to the sight of irregular patterns or clusters of small units or bumps – should think twice before buying a home there.
Prices at the estate now fetch up to 5 million yuan (US$728,000) for a 100-square-meter condo in the Future City, according to local papers, while the road leading to the estate is still full of people taking pictures or trying to set foot inside the colossal pyramid.
The city of Suzhou has a few UNESCO World Heritage sites and is renowned for its exquisite traditional Chinese landscape gardens featuring connected pools and islands.
But the city is nowadays home to a growing number of daring structure sporting unconventional designs. Head to Suzhou’s bustling new central business district and you will find a skyscraper that looks like a giant pair of long johns.
The 68-story, 301-meter Gate to the East is hard to ignore, and its designers with the British studio RMJM claimed they were inspired by the Arc de Triomphe.
But you will be forgiven for thinking the tower looks more like a towering pair of pants, as residents in Suzhou agree. Since its completion in 2016 the skyscraper has been lampooned for looking less like an imperious archway and far more like a pair of long underwear, as netizens call it “Pants of the East.”
“Does the Gate to the East imply we should live beneath the ‘crotch’?” asked one.
Gate to the East, the tallest building in Suzhou, now houses a high-end shopping mall, a five-star hotel, serviced apartments, offices and a museum.
But Suzhou is not alone in building weird-looking towers and other structures. Eyesores are sprouting up across China as the standards of esthetics of party cadres and developers are failing to keep up with the speed of construction.
Here are just a few: