Patrik Schumacher recently took to the comments section of The Architect’s Newspaper to respond to critics who published an open letter protesting his suit against the executors of Zaha Hadid’s estate.
Beneath the letter from “a group of close friends, fellow and former students, and employees of Zaha Hadid,” Schumacher wrote:
My dear friends, I wish you had given me a chance to explain to you what is going on before you throw your stones: “Schumacher’s … behavior … thwarting Zaha’s last wishes.” Are we no longer on first name terms? Have you seen Zaha’s letter of wishes? Let’s talk soon.
Dear Patrik, I think, as old friends of Zaha’s, we are morally obliged to distinguish (and protect) her “legacy” from her “business”. She always tried to make time for her old friends, despite or maybe because of the alienation of fame. Eventually she was everywhere before she arrived; it became exhausting.
We need to reciprocate.
This might have been an interesting discussion amongst friends and colleagues, including you, about how legacy and inspiration might, in the end, be more important than assets? Unfortunately you took it into the coldness of The High Court, instead of inviting this discussion?
Way, way back then, when Zaha had won the Peak competition, but hadn’t built a building, I managed through a colleague in New York, to get her as the front of an invited team pitching in the Times Square redevelopment. After she met with the production architect and developer carnivores, she called me.
She said, more or less, “Fish, they want me for my body, not my mind”. I said, tell them to get f….d. She did.
Her mind lives on…..
The controversy at the heart of the back-and-forth revolves around Schumacher’s lawsuit against the three other executors of Hadid’s estate. Those executors characterized Schumacher’s suit as an attempt by him to take total control of Hadid’s property and legacy. Schumacher, however, disagrees with this characterization and said that he is just trying to align the execution of Hadid’s estate with her true wishes, known to him.
AN reached out to Schumacher for comment, but he did not respond.