Government edifice design in China
LEAP has a great article by artist Bai Xiaoci (who is responsible for the photos above) on the architecture of government edifices in China. An excerpt:
As material manifestations of Chinese political principles, China’s city- and county-level government buildings have also developed their own architectural aesthetics. State-owned design institutes are primarily responsible for the design of these structures. The skill level of these designers and the aesthetic preferences of local government policymakers have rendered these buildings of the late twentieth and early twenty-first century to appear as pastiches of bygone fashions and contemporary trends. The various government edifices I have photographed all employ some neoclassical elements: horizontal symmetry, decorative pillars, and lots of marble and granite. In the coastal provinces with relatively developed economies, some buildings feature glass curtain walls, but many others employ ethnic-style glazed tile roofs, emphasizing the political correctness of the nation-state.
With designs that emphasize order, these government edifices are always symmetrical in arrangement and cavernous in volume, providing a solemn sense of protocol to denizens and visitors. An individual wishing to enter a government edifice must first traverse a massive plaza, then ascend a massive set of stairs. From a bird’s eye view, the individual resembles an ant crawling in solitude across a taupe granite dish.