RMJM has insisted its much-maligned Gate of the Orient project in China – which critics have likened to a pair of pants – is no laughing matter
Following a media frenzy over the trouser-like tower, the practice released a statement describing the 88-storey building in Suzhou as ‘architectural ingenuity’.
The Daily Telegraph this week reported on headlines in China including ‘Is it an arch or just plain pants?’ and ‘New giant tower branded pants’.
There have also reportedly been a number of sniggering comments on local social networking site Weibo.
But RMJM preferred to compare the structure to a pair of fashionable jeans – and even the Arc de Triomphe.
‘Just as the Arc remembers those who fought and died in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars… the Gateway to the East beckons a commemoration of the modern rise of Asia’s status on the global stage,’ said the statement.
‘While some critics view the unfinished skeleton as a laughable pair of low-rise jeans, the gateway is a far cry from a joking matter.
‘The Gate of the Orient promises to be one of the most complex high-rise structures in the world.’
The project will boast China’s highest Suzhou-style garden, deepest cellar, highest overpass and highest swimming pool.
The statement went on: ‘So who’s wearing the pants, you ask? China.
‘During the last 30 years China’s economy has changed from a centrally planned system that was in large part closed to international trade, to a market-oriented structure with a rapidly growing private sector, ushering China into the present as the second largest economy in the world.
‘Thanks to the architectural ingenuity of the global architectural team at RMJM, the Suzhou horizon will forever be defined by a welcoming arch under which all can pass.’