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North African unrest forces Hadid to shed staff

Zaha Hadid architects has said political instability in North Africa and the Middle East could result in more than a quarter of its staff being laid off

The practice confirmed that 95 of its 354 London-based staff may lose their jobs due to ‘several large’ projects - including government and conference buildings in Libya - stalling or facing increasingly uncertain futures (see AJ 24.02.11).

The Stirling Prize-winner told the AJ that the company’s 450,000 m² Cairo Expo City had been placed the project on hold until at least May 2011.However the practice said its Stone Towers project in Cairo was progressing.

On hold: Zaha Hadid's Cairo Expo project in Egypt

On hold: Zaha Hadid’s Cairo Expo project in Egypt

Official statement

Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) continually reviews its resourcing in line with projected requirements and recent unforeseen events across North Africa and the Middle East, where the practice has several large projects at various stages of development, must be factored into current 12-month forecasts of work on existing and future projects.

Accounting for the likelihood that some of the projects in region will not go ahead as scheduled, ZHA must regretfully consider the option of potential staff redundancies. Currently ZHA employs 354 staff in London and we anticipate that up to 95 redundancies may be necessary. Collective consultation has commenced with the nominated employee representatives. The practice will continue to explore ways of avoiding compulsory redundancies and minimising the number of employees affected by reallocating staff to other projects and alternative positions where possible.

Work continues on Zaha Hadid's Stone Towers Cairo

Work continues on Zaha Hadid’s Stone Towers Cairo

Previous story (03.02.11)

Zaha Hadid almost trebles profits

Stirling Prize-winner Zaha Hadid has announced profits nearly three times higher than in the previous trading year

Published today, the limited company’s accounts show that profits before tax rose from £1.5 million to £4.1 million and turnover ballooned from £29 million to £44.6 million in the financial year ending 30 April 2010.

According to the practice, recent award-winning projects, such as the MAXXI in Rome and The Evelyn Grace Academy in London, have allowed continuous growth in emerging markets like Africa and Asia.

Twice as much income was received from projects in the Middle East - up from £10.3 million in 2009 to just over £21 million in 2010.

In the report the Directors said: ‘]Our] international acclaim has helped the practice attract a variety of new clients. Markets across Africa and the Middle East continue to mature. Recent projects demonstrate [our] commitment to the highest standards of design and innovation in architecture.”

The Olympic Aquatics Centre has helped growth in the UK market.

Despite the increase in profits, staff numbers went up only 6 per cent, with the workforce now totalling 307.

However annual profits remain below those posted in 2008 when they soared to £5 million.

Zaha Hadid's Evelyn Grace Academy in London

Zaha Hadid’s Evelyn Grace Academy in London

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