The invasion of the architecture snatchers rages on in China, where luxury hospitality chain Starwood Hotels is set to open a hotel inside of a ripoff Bavarian castle where, in the Jing Daily's words, "craft beer flows in the 'Royal Cellar' amid sprawling stone work, wood furnishings, and high ceilings." Coming to the old location of the Dalian Shell Museum—and honestly, why not house a museum containing over "20,000 precious shells" in a piece of medieval duplitecture—the Castle Hotel might be the grandest piece of faux-European design in China, which is saying a lot, because there are entire towns.
Originally built in 2002, this bizarro-Bavarian palace is in the final stages of an interior renovation that aims to make the place look something like the mockups below. Of course, this being China, the Castle Hotel isn't even the only castle hotel currently in the works.
Bianca Bosker, the author of Original Copies: Architectural Mimicry in Contemporary China, once told The Atlantic that she was "struck by the disconnect between architecture critics' contemptuous view of these themed developments—which they dismissed as kitschy, inauthentic knock-offs—and the burgeoning demand for them among Chinese homeowners," who "don't just 'put up' with these copycats—they're proud of them." Point taken! Whatever the critical reception, it's worth noting this phenomenon isn't limited to traditional styles; there's also a host of Zaha Hadid knockoffs on the way.
· Starwood's Colossal Bavarian Castle Set to Open in Dalian [Jing Daily via Archinect]
· All architectural oddites coverage [Curbed National]