The President of the People’s Republic of China and Frank Gehry

Frank Gehry in Oviedo

CCTV by Rem KoolhaasThe President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping asked for the end of the construction of “weird buildings” in China and especially in Beijing, giving as an example the CCTV Rem Koolhaas of OMA, nicknamed “Big Pants” by the locals, such as the ‘building that should not be made in the Chinese capital?’. With his declaration he states that “China is not a testing ground for foreigners” and wants to restore those cultural and aesthetic values more suited to the Chinese people with a clear reference to Chinese nationalism, which wants to be the bearer, having previously opened the doors not only to Western architecture but especially in international business.

Frank Gehry at a press conference with El Mundo in Oviedo in Spain, not far from his Guggenheim in Bilbao, answers this question “how do you respond to those who accuse you of practicing architecture flashy” raising his middle finger. It goes on to saying: “let me tell you one thing. In this world we are living in, 98 percent of everything That Is built and designed today is pure shit.
Frank Gehry in OviedoThere’s no sense of design, no respect for humanity or for anything else”. To relate these two events occurred in two different contexts and with different times is definitely a stretch, but determine a single reflection. Two stararchitects, as Koolhaas and Gehry, although criticized and questionable for their architecture, they can not be challenged for their creativity and ability to interpret and anticipate the times.

Frank Gehry and Xi Jinping
Frank Gehry and Xi Jinping at the Walt Disney Concert Hall

Their works, which like it or do not like, are the result of a theoretical complex process that can not be described as eccentric or odd. Every manifestation criticism about their alleged creativity must be compared with their results, not just professional. The case of Bilbao is just an example of a former industrial city reborn thanks to Gehry’s Guggenheim able to attract 9 million visitors a year.


  1. architecture must have its local values & context please don’t following blindly
    Dubai have lost its ground & local Middle East value because its imported western architecture……..not body can differentiate its city identity if it’s Arab national are not living there.!

  2. Dear Marco,

    At the very beginning of your article “The President of the Republic of China Xi Jinping asked for… “, please allow me to point out the fact that the Republic of China does NOT equal to the People’s Republic of China.


  3. what a king! Ive been to china less than a month ago, and i can say that Shanghai is one of the ugliest places to live on our planet. Chinese people have absolutely no sense in aesthetics, and they took a crap over the shallow couture they once possessed. Imo, they are currently the one nation that deserves to be wiped out off the face of our planet, along with their silly skyscrapers and multimillion cities, consisted of primitive peasants. Way to go Ghery

  4. Remember, every architect has a client. Stupid thing to blame a guy like Gehry or Koolhaas to do what they do. If you dont want it dont ask them, but some mediocre architect who makes something without any inspiration, creativity or identity. In the end it will be the identity of a place that makes it attractive.

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