Architect Zaha Hadid dealing with design piracy in China

The design for the Wangjing Soho.
(Zaha Hadid Architects)

When it comes to doing business in China, Hollywood is well acquainted with the perils of piracy. Now it appears that architects must also be wary of unlicensed copying while in that country.

Architect Zaha Hadid is reportedly dealing with a pirated design being built in the inland city of Chongqing. The copied structure may be completed before the original in the Beijing area is finished, according to Germany’s Der Spiegel.

Hadid designed the Wangjing Soho, scheduled to be completed in 2014, according to the London architect’s official website. The structure is an office-and-retail complex located between the capital city and the airport.

The copied version is apparently progressing so fast that the builders of the original must hurry to complete it first, according to the Der Spiegel report.


Satoshi Ohashi, project director for the Soho complex at Zaha Hadid Architects, told the German publication: “It is possible that the Chongqing pirates got hold of some digital files or renderings of the project.”

Hadid’s prominence in China has grown since she designed the Guangzhou Opera House, which was completed in 2010.

The Pritzker Prize-winning architect also designed the recently opened Eli & Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University in East Lansing.


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