China Replicates Austrian Village

Hallstatt, Austria, the Unesco Heritage Site literally re-built, brick by brick, in China. Photo © Boris Stroujko via Inhabitat/Shutterstock

The Chinese are well-known for their penchant for knock-offs, be it brand-name handbags or high-tech gadgets, but this time, they’ve taken it to a whole other level.

A small Unesco-protected village in Austria, Hallstatt, has been recreated, brick for brick, in the subtropical district of Guangdong, China. While Hallstatt residents were at first unhappy with this clone, most have come around to the idea (aided in large part by the influx of Chinese tourists now making their way to this small Austrian site).

As odd-ball as this cloning idea may seem, it’s highly possible that Hallstatt will only be the first of many. When you consider ever-improving 3D Printers and the increasingly-common open sharing of “physible data” (digital data that has the potential to become physical objects), it’s not so difficult to imagine that – one day – cities will be downloadable and reproducible all over the globe. Perhaps in the future, Architects will work purely in the conceptual realm, designing plans that consumers will then produce.

If that’s the case, can there be any doubt that China will lead the way?

Check out a video, after the break.

Story via Inhabitat and Reuters

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Cite: Quirk, Vanessa. "China Replicates Austrian Village" 12 Jun 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 20 Oct 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=243564>
  • Zudor

    It’s probably flammable paper facades held by bamboo sticks.

    • J

      in China, these are for the dead people……..

  • Mario Matamoros

    What happened with originality? Is it no longer important?

  • Chyanne Husar

    Guess China has moved onto European models after developing Orange County and Napa Valley Beijing:

    http://www.chinese-architecture.info/PEKING/PE-058.htm

  • charie

    Wasn’t the Australian village duplicated from European? The picture only shows that there are much more acceptance in China. And, it is only a tiny part of China. It doesn’t mean no originality in China. You can see numerous things u’ve never seen before. That’s the magic of China.

    • Stipe Gašpar

      Austrian, not Australian

  • david m.

    The Chinese strive for the make-believe, for the artificial well-being. It’s once great culture is now hollow and will therefore eventually implode.

    • Jason

      Chinese today are mostly not very well versed or knowledgeable with their rich past. On the one hand, they attempt to learn by copying, much of what its neighbors (Japan, Korea…) did in the past, of both the historic China and the West. Today they also think they’ve exhausted inspirations from their past and believe in the modernization catch-up game is about copying the West and America. It will take them time again to learn from mistakes of taking in anything without selectivity or thoughtfulness. Keep in mind that there are a small minority there already very aware of this nutty trend.

  • Paulo

    There is nothing kitschier than building something that already has its time and space. Like building a copy of the actual Colosseum: kitsch architecture.

  • KK

    See this theme park in Japan which is just a copy of Dutch city:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huis_Ten_Bosch_%28theme_park%29

    That means the phenomenon in commercial field doesn’t really kill originality of a certain country. Copying and creating are happening simultaneously in China. These kind of projects in China or Japan are just for satisfying Asian people’s curiosity about western world, just like this report is for satisfying people’s prejudice about Chinese, not worth serious discuss.

    P.S. Stipe, I think Charie want to take Australian villages as example of the re-use of “European Style” outside Europe, although I’m not sure if Charie has made enough investigation.

  • rok

    sure i agree, but don’t blame china

    china is doing the same thing as Americans do

    VIVA LAS VEGAS :)

    coz not everyone is born in europe and find this tacky and kitchy. people in america are impressed if they see grand canal or eiffel tower in las vegas

    so to all the americans you’re just as bad.

  • rok

    sure i agree, but don’t blame china

    china is doing the same thing as Americans do

    VIVA LAS VEGAS :)

    coz not everyone is born in europe and find this tacky and kitschy. people in america are impressed if they see grand canal or eiffel tower in las vegas

  • Chen Di

    stupid discussion of government and the clients