|Zaha Hadid's wild architecture became extremely popular in China two years ago after she designed the Guangzhou Opera House in the Guangdong Province.
Now her newest building in Beijing, one of 11 being built
across the country, is so popular that pirate architects on the Island
of Chongqing are copying it — and the counterfeit structure may be completed before Hadid's original, according to a report in Der Spiegel.
Hadid's Beijing project is known as Wangjing Soho, and
consists of three asymmetrical round towers made to look like the sails
of a ship against the sky.
But now the star architect is reportedly being forced to
race against the Chongqing copycats in an effort to complete her
original design first. She is at a few disadvantages: first, Hadid's
design calls for three towers, whereas the copycat version will only
have two, built in a similar round, asymmetrical style.
Moreover, Hadid has an award-winning reputation to uphold
in maintaining the quality and integrity of her sweeping designs,
whereas the pirates in Chongqing have no other view than to replicate
So although the London-based architect's original building
was set for completion in 2014, it seems both structures will be racing
to be the first erected this year, according to Der Spiegel.
the billionaire property developer commissioned by Hadid to design the
complex, has issued an appeal to stop the counterfeit building,
according to Der Spiegel, but to little avail. Even though Wangjing Soho
would have a good chance of winning a copyright infringement case,
Zhang points out the court would not require the building to be torn
down, but merely made to pay a compensation fee — a punishment he
believes is not enough.
Zaha Hadid is more sympathetic, saying that if future copycat designs of her work add new architectural elements, "that could be quite exciting."