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End for Foreign Office Architects as founders set up separately

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Award-winning practice Foreign Office Architects (FOA) has closed its doors after 16 years following the split of its co-founders

Iranian-born Farshid Moussavi officially opened her new London-based practice, Farshid Moussavi Architecture (FMA) on Friday (3 June) while former co-principal Alejandro Zaera-Polo has also set up on his own, working under the banner AZPA.

Moussavi said: ‘Establishing FMA has been a significant step and I want to thank my staff and clients for their support. We have some exciting projects to work on and we’re very optimistic for the future of this new firm.’

‘[Our work] in architecture, urbanism and landscape design is to be supported by a newly formed research arm, FunctionLab, dedicated to the investigation of the relationships between architecture and other materials that determine the complexity of the built environment.’

The practice is best known for its Yokohama Pier Port Terminal (completed 2002), John Lewis’ flagship store in Leicester and recently completed Ravensbourne College in Greenwich.

Moussavi will continue working on the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland and the Quran Museum in Tehran.

About Farshid Moussavi

Born in Iran in 1965, she studied architecture at Dundee University, University College London’s Bartlett School of Architecture and Harvard Graduate School of Design. She worked at the Renzo Piano Building Workshop and the Office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) before co-founding FOA in 1995 where she worked until its demerger in May 2011.
She is Professor in Practice of Architecture at Harvard University, USA and has published two books, ‘The Function of Ornament’ and ‘The Function of Form’, based on her research and teaching there. Moussavi has also been a visiting professor at UCLA, Columbia and Princeton, and head of the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. As well as serving on numerous international design juries, she is a trustee of the Whitechapel Gallery and Architecture Foundation in London, and a member of the Steering Committee of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture.

About Alejandro Zaera-Polo

Born in Madrid in 1963, he graduated from the Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Madrid and went on to do a master in Architecture at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University where he graduated with Distinction. He worked alongside Rem Koolhaas at OMA in Rotterdam between 1991 and 1993, before establishing Foreign Office Architects.



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