A developer in Chongqing has been accused of counterfeiting Zaha Hadid’s design for the Wangjing SOHO complex in Beijing, Der Spiegel reports. It is possible the copycat version may actually be completed before the original, according to the magazine.
"Even as we build one of Zaha's projects, it is being replicated in Chongqing," SOHO China’s Zhang Xin, said during the Galaxy opening.
Copyright theft is an on-going issue in China, but it’s still unusual in the highly-visible and distinct work of top architects.
"It is possible that the Chongqing pirates got hold of some digital files or renderings of the project," Satoshi Ohashi, project director at Zaha Hadid Architects for the SOHO complex, told Spiegel. "You could work out a similar building if you are technically very capable, but this would only be a rough simulation of the architecture."
"Zaha Hadid said she has a philosophical stance on the replication of her designs: If future generations of these cloned buildings display innovative mutations, 'that could be quite exciting.'
An entire generation of new-millennium Chinese architects has been tracking, and been inspired by, Hadid's architectural advances, said Beijing-based Ohashi. He also predicted a rise of a new class of pirate architects with a sophisticated focus on the globe's leading experimental buildings: 'If someone really likes Zaha, we will probably see more of her designs across China,'" he says.