The letter by Rowan Moore justifying the choice of Zaha Hadid as the winner of the Architecture Foundation building competition (AJ 20.01.05) makes it seem as if it was a foregone conclusion to give Hadid a chance to construct her first UK building. With respect to other shortlisted practices, they were hardly unknown.
Surely the objective is to be inclusive, and asking for prequalification practice details limits the number of architects who can enter. Why not have open competitions where all can put forward a design scheme to a given level?
I have no objections to Hadid winning, but please let's not pretend these are open competitions. It might have been more transparent and honest for the Architecture Foundation to invite selected practices to present design solutions.
Vijay Taheem, Vj Associates