Photo Gallery Copying the Masters in China

Star architect Zaha Hadid is currently building several projects across China. One of them, however, is being constructed twice. Pirates are the process of copying one of her provocative designs, and the race is on to see who can finish first.
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Star architect Zaha Hadid has become one of the most admired architects in the world and her work is particularly prized in China. She is currently building 11 projects around the country, including Wangjing SOHO in Beijing, shown here.

Foto: Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects
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Hadid only recently finished another project in Beijing called Galaxy SOHO. The sweeping curves within are typical of her architecture.

Foto: Kevin Holden Platt
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But the Wangjing SOHO project isn't just being built in Beijing. The design has been pirated and is under construction in the southern city of Chongqing. Here, an advertisement placed on a leading Chinese real estate site for the as-yet unfinished copy.

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The original consists of three towers that resemble curved sails, sculpted in stone and etched with wave-like aluminum bands, that appear to swim across the surface of the Earth when viewed from the air.

Foto: Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects
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The copy has but two towers, but the similarity with the original is difficult to miss. Hadid is currently trying to rush the original so that it is finished before the copy.

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A sketch of the Hadid project. She is something of a star in China. Some 15,000 people showed up for the opening of the Galaxy SOHO complex.

Foto: Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects
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The Wangjing SOHO complex is set for completion in 2014. The developer who commissioned the project says that, at the moment, "the pirates of Chongqing are building faster than SOHO."

Foto: Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects
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An inside view of the Wangjing SOHO showroom, clearly showing the sweeping curves that define Hadid's architecture.

Foto: GUO Yiran
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Galaxy SOHO was built by the same developer that is currently constructing Wangjing SOHO.

Foto: Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects
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An inside view of Galaxy SOHO. Piracy is pervasive in China, where all manner of copies are available. SOHO developer Zhang Xin says: ¿Everyone says that China is a great copycat country, and that it can copy anything.¿

Foto: Kevin Holden Platt
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An inside view of Galaxy SOHO. The country does have laws against outright piracy, even the copying of architecture. But enforcement is sporadic.

Foto: Kevin Holden Platt
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A view of Galaxy SOHO. Hadid is not the first Westerner to see her work mimicked in China. Last year, it become known that a copy of an entire Austrian village had been built in the country.

Foto: Kevin Holden Platt
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The impressive Guangzhou Opera House was one of Hadid's buildings that caught the eye of architecture fans in China and around the world. Satoshi Ohashi, an architect who works for Hadid, says: "I am sure that some architect is already working on another version of the Guangzhou Opera House."

Foto: Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects
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