China Plans To Clone The Entire Village of Hallstatt, Austria

by , 06/20/11
filed under: Architecture, News

eco design, sustainable design, green design, Guangdong, Hallstate, Austrian Village, China, World UNESCO heritage site, plagairism, copying, copyright infringment

This won’t be the first time that China has pinned its sights on a European village and set about building an exact replica of it in their own country. But their latest  effort to do so may be the most controversial yet. A small Austrian village set high in the Alps, Hallstatt has only 800 residents and is a UNESCO-protected world heritage site. Chinese architects recently joined 800,000 annual tourists to absorb the majestic scenery, and then proceeded to secretly draw up plans to clone the entire village, including the picturesque alpine lake! We have to say though, creating an exact replica of a town optimized for winter weather in the subtropical Guangdong province of China doesn’t sound very sustainable…

eco design, sustainable design, green design, Guangdong, Hallstate, Austrian Village, China, World UNESCO heritage site, plagairism, copying, copyright infringment

Hallstatt’s mayor told Spiegel that the villagers are concerned that the Chinese will copy everything, including a historic holy house. Previously, China has copied Anting in Germany and Dorchester – right down to the last door and facade. Furthermore, the Chinese version of Hallstatt is slated to be built in the Guangdong province, which has a subtropical climate. We’re not sure if the architects behind the cloned village will be using passive strategies or other energy saving techniques but it seems like it would make more sense to erect this town somewhere where the weather is more similar to Hallstatt’s.

Regardless of the footprint of the project, Hans-Jörg Kaiser of Icomos Austria, the national board for monument preservation under UNESCO, intends to investigate whether or not the cloned village plans are indeed illegal. He told the paper that it is necessary to evaluate the legalities, but that building projects from photography is perfectly legal. However, he added, owners must give permission for their homes to be measured.

Via Spiegel Online

Images via llawliet and rakamblack

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  1. cccccccccccccc April 3, 2013 at 10:48 am


  2. caeman June 30, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    Never been there, but probably will never leave Ohio for the rest of my days. From the pictures and additional reading, it looks like a beautiful place. The Chinese, though, can work as hard as they wish, but it won’t be the same. The very location of the Austrian village is part of the uniqueness and beauty. The Chinese location cannot replicate the air, the mountains, the people. So, they may end up with homes that are identical within an inch. But no one would ever confuse it for the original thing.

    One of thinking about this is as a compliment. China is so impressed by this small village, they are willing to spend billions to replicate while hundreds of millions of its people toil away in poverty pay. What other country would make its citizens suffer so for such vanity?

  3. Tafline Laylin June 30, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    Chad… I love that you are such a regular reader and make comments. But have you seen the pictures of this place? Who wouldn’t want to live in a village with such incredible scenery and unique architecture?

  4. caeman June 20, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    Illegal to clone some other country’s town? That is foolishness. It seems silly enough to want to clone an Austrian town in the first place. As for measuring people’s houses, China has the expertise to have already modified digital cameras to have captured those measurements in the pictures.

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