It seems as if the Western world's blog-fueled fascination with wacky Chinese buildings has reached the upper echelons of China's government. Chinese president Xi Jinping, who surely must hate fun or something, has asked for an end to China's "weird architecture."
Over the past decade or so, China's construction boom has yielded many buildings that look like other things, along with a penchant for creating knock-off structures to rival even that of the U.S. This is largely understood to be the work of planners and developers who equate striking "modern" buildings with "international," less "provincial" cities, and the architects willing to give them what they want.
"No more weird architecture," said Xi in a speech at a literary symposium last week, reports the People's Daily, one of China's official state newspapers. Dezeen translated the comments, and also pointed out the very ironic fact that the new HQ of the People's Daily "came under fire last year after being compared to a giant penis." Xi specifically called out Rem Koolhaas' CCTV headquarters building—nicknamed "big pants," because it looks like a big pair of pants—echoing earlier criticisms of the project.
It's unclear if Xi also wants fewer lotus flower conference centers and coin-shaped stock exchanges; things that are probably weirder but not designed by high-profile foreigners. According to Xi, good architecture "should be like sunshine from the blue sky and the breeze in spring that will inspire minds, warm hearts, cultivate taste and clean up undesirable work styles."
Presumably, Xi is still cool with MAD's live-in mountain ranges, because those are based on traditional Chinese landscape paintings and are obviously quite dope.