Chinese Developers Behind Counterfeit Zaha Hadid Face Multiple Lawsuits

Since news broke that a counterfeit Zaha Hadid design was being constructed in Chongqing, China, reporters, critics, architects, and other interested parties have had mixed reactions, scratching their heads over how this happened and what it all means. But as the cultural ramifications are being sorted out, lawyers are stepping into the picture. According to Chinese Radio International, Soho China, the real estate developer behind the Zaha-commissioned Wangjing Soho complex, has filed a lawsuit against “pirate” developers Chongqing Meiquan Property for their counterfeit design.

The lawsuit follows a recent legal request from Zaha Hadid Architects asking that Meiquan cease construction and provide compensation for their transgression. Soho China, however, has been on this case since May, when CEO Pan Shiyi purportedly demanded via his official weibo last May that Meiquan rework the exterior of their alleged replica and offer a public apology. Meiquan has continued to deny allegations of counterfeiting, stating instead that the design of their complex was inspired by cobblestones on the Yangtze River and not by Hadid’s architecture. And so the saga continues…

Photo: The controversial Chongqing replica, via Str/AFP/Getty Images

- Kelly Chan