Rem Koolhaas said Zaha Hadid Architects could survive the death of its founder if it feeds on her architectural DNA.
Fashion brands could provide a precedent for what is fairly uncharted territory for architectural practices, he told Building at the BCO conference in Amsterdam.
“I think there is a model these days where fashion houses survive by working on the DNA of their founders,” he said.
“It is a model that is becoming more and more current and it could work in architecture too, I think.”
Versace, Chanel and Alexander McQueen have continued to thrive as labels since the deaths of their founders.
Koolhaas’ own practice, OMA, has spent the last 15 years promoting its partners individually as part of its succession planning.
“We are a partnership with nine partners each with their own individuality and talents and that is increasingly recognised and also promoted by the company in terms of crediting partners individually for the work they are doing,” he said.