Architecture: Zaha Hadid Project In Beijing, China
Architecture is no stranger to copying. In fact, it was long accepted part of the profession. Now, of course, we don’t build with Corinthian columns anymore—right?—and the rules of making architecture have changed, or so it would seem. In fact, copying still continues and there exists little precise litigation to prevent architectural piracy en masse. In China, for instance, both architecture firms and their buildings, along with full-scale Apple stores and Austrian lake towns, are frequently copied and sold as quasi-legitimate products. Zaha Hadid, perhaps the world’s most famous architect, now knows this first hand.
According to a de Spiegel report, ZHA’s design for Wangjing SOHO, currently under construction and just one of 11 projects the firm is working on for China, is being copied in the eastern city of Chongqing. The pirate architects, who remain anonymous (duh), are hard at work on the counterfeit, which it seems is rising even faster than ZHA’s original in Beijing.
Satoshi Ohashi, the ZHA project director overseeing Wangjing SOHO, told de Spiegel that the counterfeiters may have gotten their hands on digital files containing the firm’s original plans. He seems less concerned with the copy’s verisimilitude than with the speed that it is being built, which is overcoming ZHA’s progress in Beijing.
Photo, Source: Wangjing Soho; Zaha Hadid Architects