zaha hadid architects (ZHA) and foster + partners have both exited ‘architects declare’, a network of architectural practices that seeks to urgently address issues relating to climate change. originated by steve tompkins and michael pawlyn, ‘architects declare’ was launched in may 2019 by the then 17 UK recipients of the stirling prize — including ZHA and foster + partners. ‘architects declare is about encouragement, with every signatory organization expected to self-govern its progress toward achieving the commitments it has made,’ reads a statement on the organization’s website.
foster + partners’ design for a new airport in poland (also main image)
read more about the proposal on designboom here



on november 24, 2020, architects declare (AD) released a statement responding to comments from ZHA principle patrik schumacher: ‘last week the architects’ journal reported that patrik schumacher of ZHA (a signature practice to architects declare) had asserted that ‘we need to allow prosperity and progress to continue and that will also bring the resources to overcome [the climate crisis] through investment in science and new technologies. that must be built on continuous growth’. he also warned against ‘those voices who are too quick to demand radical changes’. ‘we believe these statements are fundamentally in conflict with the architects declare commitment to ‘advocate for faster change in our industry towards regenerative practices’. we also believe these statements are scientifically flawed and decades out of date in terms of informed intellectual thought.’ read the statement in full here.

zaha hadids KAPSARC
the ZHA-designed KAPSARC research centre in riyadh was deemed LEED platinum
image © hufton+crow | read more about the project on designboom here



now, ZHA has left the group claiming that AD is ‘setting the profession up for failure’. ‘architects declare’s steering group has unilaterally decided on its own precise and absolute interpretation of the coalition’s commitments,’ reads a statement from ZHA, reported by architects’ journal. ‘by doing so, we believe they are setting the profession up for failure. redefining these commitments without engagement undermines the coalition and trust. we saw architects declare as a broad church to raise consciousness on the issues; enabling architectural practices of all sizes to build a coalition for change and help each other find solutions. we need to be progressive, but we see no advantage in positioning the profession to fail. in fact, it would be a historic mistake.’

zaha hadid generali tower milan
ZHA’s ‘generali tower’ was also certified as LEED platinum by the US green building council
image © hufton + crow | read more about the project on designboom here



ZHA points out that its recent projects have achieved exemplary accreditation, with the KAPSARC research centre in riyadh and the generali tower in milan both awarded with LEED platinum recognition. the news comes a day after foster + partners also left the organization. a statement from AD said that it is disappointed with foster + partners’ withdrawal and that the group would welcome a conversation with the architecture firm. currently, there are 1,037 UK practices committed to the declaration and over 6,000 companies signed up in 26 countries under the broader banner of ‘construction declares’.