Zaha Hadid Vs. The Architecture Pirates

The architecture superstar is facing off with rogue developers creating unauthorized replicas of her buildings in China.

Superstar architect Zaha Hadid is facing a unique, if somewhat flattering, challenge: Contractor pirates copying one of her new, under-construction buildings. Hadid's Wangjing SOHO complex in Beijing (pictured) was scheduled for a 2014 opening; however, rogue developers in the city of Chongqing are building an illegal copy of Wangjing SOHO called Meiquan 22nd Century, which will replicate the complex, without compensation, in the inland Chinese city.

Although Hadid and property developer partner Zhang Xin have good odds of winning litigation under Chinese intellectual property law, they cannot freeze construction on the pirated Chongqing process. Hadid's project manager, Satoshi Ohashi, told Der Spiegel that "it is possible that the Chongqing pirates got hold of some digital files or renderings of the project." For their part, Meiquan 22nd Century posted a statement on Sina Weibo saying that the project was "never meant to copy, only want to surpass."

[Image: Zaha Hadid Architects]

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