Coin-shaped or jade disc-shaped – in any case it’s ugly

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by Björn Schöpe

November 14, 2013 – We may appreciate coins as beautiful artefacts of major historical significance but apparently they do not cut a fine figure in architectural form. Last year Time Style chose the fifteen ugliest buildings among which the Fang Yuan building in Shenyang (China). This 25-floor office building is shaped like a cash coin, round with an enormous rectangular whole cut out in the middle.
It seems that Chinese architects have a soft spot for their numismatic past. Now another building in China – even bigger: 33 storeys – is being constructed in Guangzhou beside the Pearl River. According to the architects behind its form stands a jade disc. Indeed, the disc-shaped building has not a rectangular but a round hole in the middle of 47 metres diametre. Nevertheless a specialist in ancient Chinese architecture expressed that due to its size probably nobody will associate it with a tiny jade disc and most people will think of an ancient coin (although it may be debatable whether the size of the artefact connected with the building matters in this case, generally coins aren’t much bigger than jade discs …).
In one point most spectators seem to be in complete agreement: the monument is plainly ugly and it is a nuisance that the one-billion yuan (approximately 119m euros or US$163m) project has received its glorious name of Guangzhou Yuan (which means simply ‘round’) Building only after an award of 100,000 yuan (ca. 12,000 euros or US$16,000) paid by the municipal government. One man stated that even a child could have found that name.
So Time Style may have another candidate for the next shortlist of the ugliest buildings in the world and if China continues this way maybe in a couple of years there will be enough competitors for an award for the most ugliest coin-shaped building.

You can read an article on that new building in the South China Morning Post.

About the Fang Yuan Building we reported in CoinsWeekly.