‘Crayfish Mansion’ in eastern China bears remarkable resemblance to London’s Gherkin
This iconic building will be a familiar sight for anyone who has gazed at London’s skyline.
But the distinctive sky-scraper pictured is not the world-renowned Gherkin, but the Crayfish Mansion in eastern China.
The tapered, glass Crayfish looks almost exactly the same as the English landmark – and it even shares a bizarre name.
Spot the difference: Chaina’s Crayfish, left, looks just like the 180m-high Gherkin, but reaches only 99m
The Crayfish is to become the epicentre of the crayfish industry in Xuyi county, Jiangsu province – an area famous for its production of the crustacean.
Xuyi Crayfish Group began building in March 2010 and have spent around $19million on the gleaming 20,000-square-metre structure.
It is unclear if it was flattery or a desire to save money on an architect that prompted the company to emulate the Gherkin’s diagonally striped, diamond-effect design.
The City of London office block, which is officially named 30 St Mary Axe, was designed by Ken Shuttleworth for Sir Norman Foster’s firm.
It opened in 2004, and would tower over China’s 99m-high imitation at 180m tall – more than three times the height of Niagara Falls.
But the Gherkin’s unique design has attracted its fair share of criticism, and even designer Mr Shuttleworth admitted later that the days of ‘crazy shapes, silly profiles and double curves’ were over.
China’s creation has already been nicknamed ‘The Giant Egg’. Let’s hope it escapes an identical fate.