"People paid a lot of attention to these buildings because they cost too much money - money that should have been used where it was needed most," said resident Xu Linli as she walked home from work past the controversial office complex. — BBC News
In 2004, French architect Paul Andreu - who designed Beijing's stunning egg-shaped national theatre, won the right to design a new office complex for Chengdu government officials. Two months after the move began, the Sichuan earthquake, whose epicentre was just north of Chengdu, left 90,000 people dead or missing. The idea of officials moving into luxurious new offices as others were struggling to survive was a situation that soon drew public criticism. So, city leaders promised to sell their new offices after the Sichuan earthquake. Yet as Michael Bristow discovered the building has still not been completely abandoned by city officials.