[photopress:real_estate_hangzhou_1.jpg,full,alignright]Residents of Hangzhou, in east China’s Zhejiang Province, rejoiced when a 72-meter-high skyscraper looming over West Lake, a world-renowned scenic spot, was demolished earlier this year.
They rejoiced too early. Now an even taller building will be erected in its place — an 85-meter tower that will include a hotel boasting views over the water.
The property developer Kerry Property, affiliated to the Hong Kong-based Kerry Group, purchased the land, after a building belonging to Zhejiang University was destroyed at the beginning of this year, for RMB2.46 billion (around $328 million).
Mr. Xu, who has lived in Hangzhou for more than 50 years, has seen the blue print and is not happy. He said, ‘I don’t like the plans for such a tall building, because it is so weird and incompatible with the surroundings.
‘Compared with 50 years ago, the lake has lost some of its beauty because of the growing number of buildings around it.’
According to the land use rights contract signed between the local government and the developer, only a quarter of the building complex is allowed to surpass the height of 25 meters but it still allows an 85-meter tower.
The architecture firm responsible for the building says in a released statement that it wants to make West Lake a place ‘where traditional beauty meets modernity.’ That would rate very high up in the PR manual of useful yet meretricious phrases.
Liu Jingjing of Kerry Property said, ‘Since some citizens are praising and some are protesting, we will give the matter overall consideration.’ The comments of the praising citizens were not offered. Nor were their names.
WangShu, head of the China Academy of Art was probably talking common sense when he said, ‘The high building will be a disastrous beginning because its selling point is a view of the lake from such a height. Other property developers will follow suit and the lake will soon be surrounded by high buildings, which will block the common people’s access to the lake’s natural beauty.’
Source: People Daily Online