Zaha Hadid on clients

I was at an event last week where renowned architect Zaha Hadid was speaking at the Southbank Centre. She made an interesting point about how London should be more like New York, in that it doesn’t have enough buildings like the Rockefeller Centre that are privately owned but open to the public. I’ve always wanted to go up to the restaurant at the top of the Gherkin, for example, but it isn’t open to the public. It’s not something I think about very often but arguably it can have an impact on public behaviour and the personality of the city.

She also mentioned her experience with different types of clients:

– those who never argue about the design of a building; never want to compromise an idea

– ambitious clients who squeezed work out of her firm, making for a very demoralising experience.

– clients who push you to do better than you think you can.

It would be lovely to have clients who are in category 3, but I doubt there are many of those…

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