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CHINA IN THEIR HANDS

ASTRAGAL

Astragal spent much of last week sat in front of the telly, shunning all architectural partying as it was just too cold outside. However, Astragal is never entirely off duty, and one item on Newsnight caught his eye. It posed the question: 'Are Western architects simply using China as a testing ground for bonkers experimentation?'

When you consider that confirmed loonies Rem Koolhaas, Paul Andreu and Herzog & de Meuron have been let loose, the answer can only be 'yes'. Apparently, Rem's new Central Chinese Television headquarters is set to become the biggest structure in the entire world. Newsnight's reporter, wandering Lilliputianlike around the construction site, likened the scheme to five Canary Wharf towers, all joining at the top. What he failed to note was that, at 550,000m 2, the building will still be marginally smaller than Koolhaas' own ego.

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