It’s all but impossible to keep phallic comparisons out of your head when staring up at a towering skyscraper, but residents of the Guangxi region in southeastern China have a new addition to their skyline that seems unmistakably penis-inspired—and a fake viral video isn’t helping to dissuade opinions.
The Guangxi New Media Centre, which was recently completed after two years of construction in Nanning, the capital of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, appears to have a curvy, tiered design that its architect claims was inspired by the terraced landscapes the country is known for. And from the ground, the bulbous form of the building does indeed look like the segmented hills of the surrounding Chinese countryside.
But from a distance, when you’re able to take in the entire structure, it’s hard to imagine the architect having anything other than a penis and a pair of testicles in mind as they designed the building. And in aerial shots, I half expect photos of the Guangxi New Media Centre to be pixelated or censored with a big black bar.
Making matters worse is a viral video published on the Chinese video-sharing app Douyin (known as TikTok in other parts of the world) featuring fireworks shooting out of the tip of the structure while it’s lit up at night. The building was actually completed about a month ago and managed to slip under the radar of the world’s phallus-spotters. But the faked footage of the structure ejaculating fireworks has sealed its notorious fate as it spreads across other social media platforms like Twitter. At this point, locals should just lean into all the unwanted attention and repurpose the building as a center for men’s reproductive health.