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The art of copying: How China claimed the world's greatest architectural hits

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</br>If you're an architect with a blank slate, an ambitious developer behind you and a directive to design high-quality living space, what do you build?<!-- -->
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</br>If you're operating in China, the answer could be to take a look at the classics from around the globe. <!-- -->
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</br>Replica towns that mimic some of the world's most famous monuments and picturesque locations have sprung up all over the country in the last decade.<!-- -->
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</br>In this image, a giant copy of the Eiffel Tower soars above the Tianducheng luxury real estate development in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou. Other newly built towns include brick-for-brick copies of the White House, Venice's Piazza San Marco and London's famous Tower Bridge. <!-- -->
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</br>But where have these "duplitecture" trends come from, what's driving them to ever more complex feats and do Chinese people really want to live in copycat towns thousands of miles away from the originals? We asked two experts on the issue to explain all.<!-- -->
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</br>Bianca Bosker is a journalist and the author of the book "Original Copies: Architectural Mimicry in Contemporary China, while Gary Hack is emeritus professor of city and regional planning at the University of Pennsylvania. Hack has given several talks on the issue of copycat architecture in China at academic institutes around the world.<!-- -->
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</br><strong>Interviews and captions by </strong><strong><a href='https://twitter.com/EoghanMacguire' target='_blank'>Eoghan Macguire</a></strong>


Click here for more from One Square Meter.

If you're an architect with a blank slate, an ambitious developer behind you and a directive to design high-quality living space, what do you build?

If you're operating in China, the answer could be to take a look at the classics from around the globe.

Replica towns that mimic some of the world's most famous monuments and picturesque locations have sprung up all over the country in the last decade.

In this image, a giant copy of the Eiffel Tower soars above the Tianducheng luxury real estate development in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou. Other newly built towns include brick-for-brick copies of the White House, Venice's Piazza San Marco and London's famous Tower Bridge.

But where have these "duplitecture" trends come from, what's driving them to ever more complex feats and do Chinese people really want to live in copycat towns thousands of miles away from the originals? We asked two experts on the issue to explain all.

Bianca Bosker is a journalist and the author of the book "Original Copies: Architectural Mimicry in Contemporary China, while Gary Hack is emeritus professor of city and regional planning at the University of Pennsylvania. Hack has given several talks on the issue of copycat architecture in China at academic institutes around the world.

Interviews and captions by Eoghan Macguire