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The man who lost a legacy

Max Thompson talks to Rowan Moore and other key players after the Architecture Foundation HQ is axed.

Architecture Foundation (AF) director, Rowan Moore tells me that a mystery benefactor has just given the foundation £250,000. In the same sentence, and using the same measured tone, he calmly reveals that the Zaha Hadid-designed AF headquarters project has been scrapped.

Despite Moore’s outward serenity and his assertion that he is merely ‘disappointed’, the AF board’s decision to axe the search for a permanent home is a body blow – it was, after all, to be his legacy.

Moore says: ‘Obviously we wanted to do the building, and in an ideal situation we would have liked to have done it, but because of the current economic climate it would not have been responsible. The [AF’s] programme is the more important thing for us at the moment.

‘We’ve haven’t had a permanent public space for six years, and we have managed to achieve a great deal in that time. We will continue on that basis.’

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