An advisor of China's top political advisory body questioned on Friday the 11-billion-yuan (1.3-billion-US dollar) office building of China Central Television(CCTV), saying the landmark project is too "extravagant" and its bizarre design "doubtable" in terms of safety.
"Is it worthwhile to spend all this money on an office building? " said Qian Qihu, an academician with the Chinese Academy of Engineering. "China is not yet rich enough to spend money like water, with 28 million people who still haven't got enough to eat."
He said the skyscraper contradicts the central government's call for energy-efficient and land-saving construction. "We need to resort to technological advancement to economize in urban construction," Qian said during the ongoing annual session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.
Besides, some civil construction experts doubt whether its bizarre design can protect it from strong earthquakes or other disasters. "The CCTV building should be safe, economical and stylish, rather than extravagant," he added.
CCTV's new office building, dubbed as the "Titanic of Chinese architecture", is designed to be 230 meters tall, taller than any other building in the Chinese capital, and is to be located in the new central business district in eastern Beijing.
Its designer, Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, claimed the design is "rational, creative and integrative" and is to demonstrate an amazing beauty.
Koolhaas is widely regarded as a true "post-modern" architect challenging old beliefs. His design is different from the straight lofty looks of traditional skyscrapers and breaks all the rules in Chinese design codes.
Also under fire are a number of other "modern buildings" such as the Olympic Center and Swimming Hall for the 2008 Beijing Olympiad, and the National Grand Theater. They are also criticized as "extravagant" structures.