This weekend’s mammoth Gray Lady brought what at first glance seemed like a shockingly newsworthy story by none other than two-time WTC memorial competition entrant Fred A. Bernstein. In the wake of Thomas Shine’s lawsuit against SOM Goliath David Childs, it seemed the whole architectural profession might be taking a turn for the atypical, the entire gentilely understood process of “homage” and “reference” being taken for what it so often is: outright plagiarism. Bernstein writes:
When colleagues at SHoP/Sharples Holden Pasquarelli opened a copy of L’Arca magazine, they were struck by a proposal for a Marseilles, France, skyscraper by the architect Zaha Hadid. “We were shocked,” said Mr. Sharples, one of the firm’s partners. To their eyes, and those of some browsing the Internet, the tower bore an uncanny resemblance to one of their projects.
Mr. Sharples said he tried not to jump to any conclusions. Maybe Ms. Hadid had not see the SHoP project, he reasoned. But he assumed that someone had. “It could be one of her employees,” he said.
The project in question was a partition in a first-class lounge at Kennedy Airport. “It’s ridiculous,” Ms. Hadid said. “Do you really think I’m going to copy a screen in an airport lounge?”
But Gregg Pasquarelli, another SHoP partner, is standing his ground. “We’re talking about a leading figure in our profession,” he said, “and she at least owes us a phone call.”
Until we remembered that this all sounded kind of familiar to us. So familiar, in fact, that we remembered having written about it a few weeks ago. But that’s OK — we got our material from The Gutter (still waiting for the softball, kids), which we credited for having broken the story. Because that is how, in these rarefied journalistic circles, it is done.
We’re in the clear. But it looks like someone else forgot to do their homework.
And the Gutter is PISSED.