Protesters angered by Patrik Schumacher’s controversial views on social housing picketed Zaha Hadid Architects’ office today (30 November)
About 20 protesters from Class War and the London Anarchist Federation demonstrated outside the company’s Clerkenwell studio this lunchtime, angered by Schumacher’s provocative stance on social housing, which he aired at the World Architecture Festival in Berlin earlier this month.
Schumacher’s ‘urban policy manifesto’ called for all social housing to be scrapped, Hyde Park to be 80 per cent built on and all public space privatised. During the same speech he called social housing tenants ‘free-riders’ and ‘privileged’, and said it was unfair that they kept more productive workers, including those at ZHA, from living in the centre of London.
Organised by Class War, which also targeted the RIBA Stirling Prize ceremony in October, the protesters accused Schumacher of ’driving the working class out of London’. Standing outside the practice’s office, they shouted: ’Come out Patrik, come out from under that table.’ It is understood that Schumacher is currently overseas.
Ian Bone, 69, a founder of Class War, said: ‘What Patrik Schumacher has said is social fascism. If it’s not opposed early on, it will grow and grow […] we as working class people want to stop it right at the beginning.’
He added: ’We hope Schumacher will retract his vile views, apologise and get out of the country.’
Yesterday Zaha Hadid Architects sought to distance itself from Schumacher’s ‘brainstorming’ manifesto, saying it did not echo the firm’s ethos.
In a remarkable open letter, the practice said: ‘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. Refusing to be confined by limitations or boundaries, Zaha did not reserve her ideology for the lecture hall. She lived it.’