‘She left us at the busiest time ever,’ say Schumacher and Majidi

Zaha Hadid Architects is in good shape to survive the sudden death of its founder, Patrik Schumacher and Mouzhan Majidi have said.

The office is the busiest it’s ever been and there are plans to expand, they said in an interview with the New York Times.

“We want to tell the world that we’re still a viable, vibrant address for major work of cultural importance,” Schumacher said.

Stirling Prize 2011: Patrik Schumacher (right) and Lars Teichmann of Zaha Hadid Architects with Evelyn Grace Academy principal Peter Walker (left)

Patrik Schumacher (right) receives the 2011 Stirling Prize for ZHA’s Evelyn Grace Academy

Hadid’s right-hand man from the practice’s earliest days in 1980, he said he now intends to move into the figurehead role, saying: “My ambition is to become more visible as a leader of the field to clients.”

The joint interview is part of a concerted effort by ZHA to demonstrate its determination to survive the loss of its charismatic founder. It issued a press release today announcing the opening of its Salerno Maritime Terminal in Italy (illustrated) and another on Thursday about construction getting under way for a new exhibition hall at NürnbergMesse convention centre in Germany.

Mouzhan Majidi

Mouzhan Majidi

Last week it put out a statement thanking people for their messages of support and pointing out that it had 36 projects in 21 countries on its books.

Chief executive Mouzhan Majidi, who joined from Foster’s last spring, said there was a “high level of determination” to complete them all.

He told the New York Times: “She left us at the busiest time ever… We feel very confident that we will carry on and go forward with her vision and her legacy and the experimental research she established in the office.”

While Hadid was the figurehead, the work was a joint effort, putting them in a strong position as they faced an uncertain future, he said, adding: “It’s not the master architect who dictates and says, ‘Go and deliver it.’ It’s a collective, it’s a team.”

The practice recently opened an office in New York and is looking to add studios in Mexico City and Dubai, the New York Times reported. It is also keen to expand into aviation after winning Beijing Airport.