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German Architecture Firm Replicates German Town in China

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Of course this is happening in China, where fake Austrian towns pop up all the live long day: a decade ago, German-based architecture firm Albert Speer & Partner built a replica of an entire German town near Shanghai. Anting German Town—with its flat-topped Bauhaus-style buildings similar to those found in Stuttgart or Kassel—was originally designed for 50,000 people but now sits empty (vacancy rate is estimated at 80 percent). Why? Well, for one, locals aren't taking to the distinctly German design—particularly not in buildings where windows face a decidedly anti-feng shui east and west (as opposed to a more pleasing north and south). "We wanted to break the monotony that marks many cities in China," said one of the architects, citing the open courtyards and green spaces that people just aren't liking. Hopeful that rising Shanghai prices will force people to move to Anting German Town, he adds: "The Chinese didn't want a German town. They just wanted a town that looks like a German town." Try and wrap your head around that one!

· A German ghost town in the heart of China [Spiegel]
· China Will Sneakily Clone Austrian Mountain Town [Curbed National]