In an unusual open letter issued Tuesday, Zaha Hadid Architects distanced the practice from remarks made recently by its principal, Patrik Schumacher.
Mr. Schumacher, speaking at the World Architecture Festival in Berlin on Nov. 18, advocated a market-based, gentrifying approach to affordable housing that would effectively displace working-class, lower-income, residents, many of them minorities, from city centers in London and elsewhere. The letter from the London-based company said: “Patrik Schumacher’s ‘urban policy manifesto’ does not reflect Zaha Hadid Architects’ past — and will not be our future.”
Mr. Schumacher’s eight-point manifesto caused an online firestorm among architects internationally and provoking comments from the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, in the British press.
According to the letter, Mr. Schumacher’s speech, as an independent lecturer, did not represent the ethic established by Zaha Hadid, who died in March, or the direction since maintained by its board of directors. The letter came as a reaction to opposition within the 400-person company itself and in response to hostile pushback from the public. It was issued with the knowledge of the board, which includes Mr. Schumacher. […]