Post crack-down on ‘ugly architecture’, China warns against building skyscrapers

China brings in restrictions on building super high-rises in smaller cities where there is no shortage of land

Earlier this year, China had stamped a ban on what it called ugly architecture and ordered building designers to desist themselves from building structures that would look bad on the eye of onlookers. Imposing a ban on “ugly architecture”, Chinese authorities had then stated that the country was in a stage “where people are too impetuous and anxious to produce something that can actually go down in history”.

Taking this concept forward, China has now brought in restrictions on constructing super high-rise buildings in smaller cities. This move is part of a larger plan to crack down on vanity projects across the country.

As per the plan, Chinese cities that house less than three million people will not be allowed to build skyscrapers that are taller than 150 metres. Further, cities with a population of more than three million should limit the height of their skyscrapers at 250 metres. The country had earlier banned buildings taller than 500 metres.

The administration has also warned developers who flout these norms that they will have to be accountable all their life for such irresponsible behaviour.

That could mean that Chinese buildings will now stop short of being called skyscrapers, and the architecture would be pleasing too.

China home to some of world’s tallest buildings

Considering that China is known for some of the world’s tallest buildings such as the 632-metre high Shanghai Tower and the 599.1-metre tall Ping An Finance Centre in Shenzhen, the crackdown comes as intriguing.

However, authorities believe that most immensely tall buildings are just vanity projects. The general feel in the country’s top power circles is that there is no lack of space in smaller cities and so smaller buildings and pretty ones too, along these vast land pockets could be ideal in terms of housing projects.

Smaller cities have no shortage of land

Though larger cities, such as Shenzen and Shanghai, might see tall buildings as necessary owing to the crowds, smaller cities need not even think of such skyscrapers as there is enough and more land to build normal buildings.

The Chinese move could have stemmed from the realisation that architecture developers have increasingly tilted towards constructing vanity projects and end up building structures that look ugly on the cityscape. Further, a 350-metere skyscraper called the SEG Plaza in Shenzen had reportedly swayed earlier this year, forcing hordes of people to flee from the building.

China, according to a BBC report, wants every building to be a landmark. The country looks forward to the developers and city planners to make this happen in the best possible aesthetic manner.

Sanjeev Ramachandran

A journalist with 23 years of experience, Sanjeev has worked with reputed media houses such as Business Standard, The Ne More »
Back to top button