One Year After: Zaha Hadid- Patrik Conundrum

by: CT Ronquillo    

Zaha Hadid's unexpected demise have left a huge void not only to the aspiring but everyone else in the architecture world. It's been little over a year since her death; but the more you go through news about the latest creations of the emerging and current architects, you'd inevitably realize a bit of emptiness. She was a trailblazer and was consistently on fire all throughout till the end. 

This is maybe because she consistently brought in the bravado, sharp intellect and perseverance no one has seen these days. This amidst the oddities that surround her: despite being a woman in a male dominated arena, despite being an Arab in a very white demographic London and despite starting out on her own at the young age of 29 with no clients. Armed with nothing but self-determination and faith, she came through the door, in fact, crushed it and dominated. Zaha has provided everyone a good goal to pursue; as with me, also dealing some odds of my own as an aspiring architect in the U.S. trying to break through the industry with a Filipino face.  

At present, her protege' and closest ally, current Director of Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA)- Patrik Schumacher, intends to put the direction of the firm further through full blown Parametricism, an idealogy he has championed through the years. His controversial views on housing and urbanism has attracted several misinterpretations and negative reviews from all over the profession, even from his own firm which distanced itself (not totally) apart from his philosophies. This negative light have associated Zaha's creation with Patrik as the same, and judged her works accordingly. The ones who makes this basic mistake and spews more uneducated and lazy opinions are often the misinformed and those who do not know Zaha, or Patrik the way they should. Little known fact is, contrary to her very calculated complex architecture, she adheres to human imperfection and craft- Patrik's extremist views are always kept in check and often bitch-slapped by Zaha- but all of which is love and mutual respect. This dynamism and necessary balance, I personally believe is the most essential ingredient in cooking the right architecture only ZHA could deliver. Without Zaha, I'm nervously optimistic how the direction would turn out. 

 A theoretical talk of the two is shown on the clip from a lecture taken at the AA  School of Architecture


the importance of Mapping and Abstract

Representations. .

Mapping and Abstract exercises extracts out arbitrary but often critical information that are often missed out by casual and straightforward research.

Oftentimes, the influence of derivations, process and research do not hold a high level of importance to architectural firms due to their painstaking process and would cost billable hours to a seemingly " non- productive" discourse. Or maybe perhaps, such process is tailored to those who can mentally afford to do so. 

Sadly, the precedents of good architecture do not fit the capitalist nature of most business models. It again boils down to one thing-- do we need a habitable space ? or architecture. 

The most important elements of the process are the intangibles. 

Architectural Startup Costs

my home office setup...

my home office setup...

Starting your own firm is a daunting task, especially if you’re not completely sure of what you’re getting yourself into. Author Mark LePage, founder of Entrepreneur Architect knows this firsthand. This guide, originally published on Entrepreneur Architect, discusses the financial implications of starting your own firm and acts as a guide through the challenge, leading you to success. 

Mark LePage. "How Much Will It Cost to Start My Own Architecture Firm?"