Following in the footsteps of the world’s first cloned village, a Chinese developer has announced plans to build yet another copy of the historic Alpine town of Hallstatt to offer an idyllic rural retreat for those looking for a quick, convenient escape from China’s polluted urban centers. However this latest resort will go one step further to replicate the Austrian countryside – it will be housed within an extraordinary 11,880-foot-high geodesic dome that will provide visitors with ‘freshly’ imported Alpine air.
The developer hopes that the unique resort will attract visitors eager to escape from Beijing’s escalating pollution by providing—literal—atmospheric luxury. The developer is far from the first to attempt to capitalize on Beijing’s growing air pollution—earlier this year billionaire Chen Guangbiao announced plans to launch a line of canned air to provide relief to residents of the smog-filled city. But while Chen’s proposal was widely considered to be a relatively modest awareness-raising exercise, the plans for the rather un-originally named “Hallstatt 3” appear so far to be entirely genuine.
There are no details available as to how the crisp Alpine air will be imported to Hallstatt 3, though it seems likely given the controlled environment within the dome that there will be significant conditioning, filtration and recycling of the air. The village will be filled with the same species of trees and plants one can find in the Austrian village, although various constraints will prevent the artificially constructed mountains from reaching the hight of the real ones. Although the precise matching of the Alpine climate will allow for a replication of the local ecosystems, concerns have been raised that this could impact winter-time tourism.
Hallstatt Mayor Alexander Scheutz has yet to comment on the proposals—while he was initially opposed to Hallstatt 2, he was reported to have warmed to the idea by the time of the village’s opening last summer. But with concerns that Hallstatt 2 would “copy everything” from the historic Austrian village, the notion of a clone that not only duplicates architecture, but also air, flora and fauna may make some in Austria more than a little uncomfortable.
Construction is set to begin on May 1st 2013, and the developers intend to complete the village and its encapsulating dome within 140 days, eclipsing the already rapid one-year-long construction of Hallstatt 2.