With all eyes on China these days -- from Google to nuclear Iran to peasant riots -- it's got to make you stop and wonder when you come upon a story headlined: "Albert Speer Jr. to Build Detroit of the East" in China. The so-called "Detroit of the East" will include housing for 300,000 residents and is expected to be completed within 10 to 15 years. The city said the plan will in part be inspired by Volkswagen's Autostadt, or Car Town, at its Wolfsburg, Germany headquarters. The Autostadt is a mixture of both automobile production plants and cultural facilities open to the public." An automobile theme park, if you will. China's ambition to become a world power in the production of cars is no secret, but what about the architect of choice?
As per Der Spiegel: "The architect, the son of Nazi war criminal Albert Speer, who was Hitler's architect and muse, has long been successful in China. In 2002, his firm won a design competition to build a similar car city in Shanghai. In Germany, Speer rose out of the shadow of his family's past to become one of the country's leading architects. His company helped organize the 2000 Expo in Hanover and to redevelop a major part of Frankfurt's city center."