David Chipperfield Architects and Zaha Hadid Architects suspend work in Russia

Klenoviy Boulevard Station 2 on Bolshaya Koltsevaya Line in Moscow by Zaha Hadid Architects 

Architecture firms David Chipperfield Architects and Zaha Hadid Architects have announced they are halting work on projects in Russia following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

David Chipperfield Architects said it “condemns the actions of [Russian president Vladimir] Putin” and is suspending all its work in Russia as a result.

Among its ongoing projects in the country is the renovation of the Central Telegraph building in Moscow.

Zaha Hadid Architects has also paused work on its projects in Russia, telling Dezeen it is “shocked and saddened by the conflict” that began on 24 February.

The move by the two British practices comes a day after a similar announcement by Dutch studio MVRDV.

Yesterday, MVRDV announced that it was stopping work on its five projects in Russia, stating that it stands “in solidarity with all the people who are defying and protesting against this war”.

“We call for an immediate end to this human tragedy”

David Chipperfield Architects, which has offices in London, Berlin, Milan and Shanghai, said its clients were understanding of its decision.

“Given the invasion of Ukraine, and with the full understanding and support of our clients, David Chipperfield Architects has decided to suspend all work in Russia,” the studio said in a statement.

“We condemn the actions of Putin and the Russian government and stand in solidarity with Ukraine and its people,” it added.

“As a practice we believe in dialogue, openness and engagement; values that are directly opposed to the ongoing war. We call for an immediate end to this human tragedy and our thoughts are with the innocent victims of this unjustified action.”

David Chipperfield Architects shared a statement on Instagram

Zaha Hadid Architects, which has worked on numerous projects in Russia, said it was “deeply shocked and saddened” by the situation in Ukraine and was stopping work in the country.

“ZHA has worked in Russia for four decades,” the studio said. “Zaha Hadid was originally inspired by works of the Russian avant-garde and many of our staff have taught architecture students at universities across the country.”

“We are deeply shocked and saddened by the conflict in Ukraine and have placed our two ongoing projects in Russia on hold,” it added.

“We have completed our contracted works on all other projects in the country and continue to monitor guidance from the UK Government.”

Among Zaha Hadid Architects’ Russia projects is the Klenoviy Boulevard Station 2 in Moscow that is being built as part of an expansion of the city’s metro system, pictured above, and the Sberbank Technopark in Moscow.

Architecture organisations release statements supporting Ukraine

Architecture organisations have come out in protest against the invasion, with the National Union of Architects of Ukraine calling upon the International Union of Architects to expel the Union of Architects of Russia from the organisation.

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has also commented, stating: “Our thoughts are with all those affected by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has exposed the horrific effects of conflict on communities, and put the role that architecture plays in building resilient, collaborative and inclusive societies into sharp relief.”

Meanwhile, over 6,500 Russian architects have signed an open letter condemning the invasion, saying the country’s architects and urban planners consider it “unacceptable.”

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