zaha hadid: star chitect buildings copied in china
original content
dec 30, 2012
zaha hadid: star chitect buildings copied in china


‘galaxy SOHO’ by zaha hadid. now  a leading chinese real estate site builds an exact copy of it
image © designboom

 

 

in an age in which star-chitect buildings have become the norm: how important should artistic authorship be in the world of architecture?
how territorial can we possibly be about an idea?

 

piracy has now entered a realm maybe few people expected, as copycat architects and contractors are making exact replica’s of established architects’ designs.
sure, you can make a case for certain projects being ‘influenced’ by other projects, but this seems to be more of a shameless cloning, and zaha hadid, is finding
herself to be the one of the first victims.

 


building as advertised on sina.cn one of china’s leading real-estate sites

 

as she is now completing several projects across china, such as the guanzhou opera house, galaxy SOHO, or the particular victim of this story, the wangjing SOHO.
adding to the client’s expected anger at a structure that will look exactly the same as his privately commissioned one, the faux-design is on course to open even sooner than zaha’s.

 

 


(left) imposter building as advertised on one of china’s leading real-estate site
image © sina
(right) zaha hadid’s wangjing SOHO project
image © zaha hadid

 

 

 


copied building
image © sina

 

 

the renowned architect states that cloning her buildings may not be a bad thing if it experiments with a new system , experiment or improvement, staying true to
the advancement of design. this is the first largest documented case,  highlighting the fine line between inspiration and imitation or better,
why bother walking that line when you can just come up with something new?

 

 


(left) copied building
image © sina
(right) zaha hadid’s genuine project
image © zaha hadid

 

 

 

 

 


(left) construction progress on SOHO replica
image © sina
(right) construction progress on the actual galaxy SOHO
image © designboom

 

 


some would say that copying other artists is completely necessary for creative development.
in history, or a least for most of the last 500 years, imitation was the sincerest form of architectural flattery –
established during the renaissance, architects were trying to re-create the buildings of ancient rome. ideas bounced back and forth, …
the early modernists wanted to devise a new language of design, but they, too, took imitation for granted.
I don’t want to be original,’ mies is supposed to have said, ‘I want to be good.’


a 2004 article in the NY times entertained the possibility that the form of a proposed office tower in marseille, france, by zaha hadid might be
influenced by the design
of the eero saarinen kennedy airport.
in 2005 ‘haven’t I seen you somewhere?’ a NY times article elaborates on the accusation of architectural plagiarism at a time when a federal judge ruled
that a lawsuit brought by thomas shine, formerly a student at the yale school of architecture, against david m. childs, a partner at SOM skidmore, wings & merrill.
UK architecture firm FAT’s director sam jacob believes that copying is both fundamental to how architecture develops and something that threatens its
foundational belief in originality. at the venice architecture biennale 2012 FAT had created an installation called ‘the museum of copying’

 

read more here.


comments policy
LOG IN VIA
login with designboom
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

product library