Briefing

Zaha Hadid Architects distances itself from principle Patrik Schumacher; Glasgow Sculpture Studios to close its exhibition space

Patrik Schumacher, principal of Zaha Hadid Architects. Photograph: Martin Slivka

Patrik Schumacher, principal of Zaha Hadid Architects. Photograph: Martin Slivka

Patrik Schumacher, principal of Zaha Hadid Architects. Photograph: Martin Slivka

  • Zaha Hadid Architects has distanced the practice from the controversial remarks made recently by its principal, Patrik Schumacher. Speaking at the World Architecture Festival in Berlin on 18 November, Schumacher advocated a market-centric approach to affordable housing that would force low-income, working-class residents, many of them minorities, to move out of London’s city centre. In an open letter published on Tuesday, Schumacher’s firm wrote: ‘Patrik Schumacher’s ‘urban policy manifesto’ does not reflect Zaha Hadid Architects’ past – and will not be our future. Zaha Hadid did not write manifestos. She built them.' The letter follows a recent spate of protests outside the firm's London office.
     
  • Not long after the closure of Edinburgh’s Inverleith House, Scotland has lost another gallery, with Glasgow Sculpture Studios (GSS) announcing that it is set to close the exhibition space of its Whisky Bond venue as a result of financial hardship. An official statement issued from the board read: ‘The current funding climate has required GSS to re-evaluate our organisational structure in line with our core remit and ensure that we make best use of our resources and funding. [...] There will be a hold on the GSS gallery programme, meaning that there will be no exhibition programme beyond 2016.’
     
  • Two months after the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA), the last exam board in England offering an A-level in art history, controversially revealed plans to drop the subject, UK Culture Minister Matt Hancock has announced that courses will continue to be taught in high schools. The reversal comes after the Pearson exam board agreed to develop a new syllabus. Munira Mirza, former deputy mayor for education and culture of London, said: ‘Hopefully the arts sector is now galvanized to work even more proactively with teachers to promote this valuable subject. Art history should be part of a general education for all, not just a niche subject for the few.’
     
  • The ongoing saga surrounding the Guggenheim Museum’s proposed €150m Helsinki outpost has finally drawn to a close, with the local council rejecting the project with a final vote of 53 members against the museum to 32 in favour. The Guggenheim Foundation’s final proposition would have made the city the principal owner of the entire building, however, concerns over the proposed financial plans remained, a point that was vocalized hours before the final meeting began, when dozens of people gathered in the central Senate Square to protest the project and call for the city’s money to be invested in its existing institutions.
     
  • The Creative Capital | Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant Program has announced the recipients of its 2016 grants. The 20 recipients, whose proposed projects are divided into four categories (articles, blogs, books, and short-form writing), include Annie Godfrey Larmon, Claire Bishop, Sarah Hromack, and Kevin McGarry.
     
  • Following the success of the newly opened National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) in Washington, D.C., efforts have stepped up to establish a branch of the Smithsonian dedicated to Latino culture. In a statement, Xavier Becerra, who sits on both the Smithsonian board and the NMAAHC council, said: ‘There are some 57 million Latinos who are essentially missing from the National Mall. […] The more we give people a chance to see the full depth and dimension of what it means to be American, the better off we are.’

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