Architecture, DesignMENA Summit 2017, Tariq Khayyat, Zaha Hadid Architects, ZHA, DesignMENA Summit

designMENA Summit: ZHA reaches record number of buildings under construction, says head of region Tariq Khayyat

At the designMENA Summit 2017, Tariq Khayyat, senior associate and head of region at Zaha Hadid Architects, said the firm is “now at the peak of buildings under construction.”

“We are delivering so many buildings on site — I would mark it at around 25 buildings worldwide that are under construction at various stages right now,” he added. “Design-wise, we have around 100 projects at different stages.”

Khayyat’s 10-minute presentation focused on the firm’s work in the past year and a half, and discussed the importance of creating a legacy as an architect.

“Zaha was able to establish her brand and her legacy. Now, post-our founder’s era, [it’s clear] how establishing a legacy is very important for architects so that their achievements, success and fingerprints are maintained.”

According to Khayyat, by imbuing a specific culture or DNA into a company’s foundations, as Hadid did when she established her firm in the late 1970s, a certain consistency of work can be better maintained regardless of “who comes or leaves”.

“Zaha fought for so many years to make sure that if we make compromises, they are ones that we don’t need to justify. She fought to make sure that at the end of the day, we are proud of the work we deliver,” he said.

Minsuk Cho was the keynote speaker this year, and reflected on the impact of political, environmental and social issues on architecture in South Korea.