ZHA can grow if it follows the example of fashion houses, says Koolhaas

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Rem Koolhaas says Zaha Hadid Architects can continue to grow after the death of its founder if it follows the model used by leading fashion houses.

In an interview with UK website BDonline, Dutch architect Koolhaas said that companies like Alexander McQueen and Chanel could show the way forward for firms that lose a figurehead of Hadid’s status.

“I think there is a model these days where fashion houses survive by working on the DNA of their founders,” he said.

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“It is a model that is becoming more and more current and it could work in architecture too, I think.”

British fashion house Alexander McQueen lost its founder in 2010, but has continued to realise designs that honour McQueen’s dark but romantic style. The brand is now led by Sarah Burton, who was McQueen’s right-hand woman.

Another example is Chanel, where Karl Lagerfeld has evolved Coco Chanel’s original vision since 1983, adding his own designs.

ZHA, has pledged to continue the work of its founder Zaha Hadid, who died unexpectedly in March at the age of 65 after a heart attack.

It will see through all of the projects that the firm was already working on, as well as taking on new work under the leadership of Patrik Schumacher, who was Hadid’s long-term business partner and collaborator.

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