In response to recent controversial comments made by principal Patrik Schumacher, London-based Zaha Hadid Architects released a statement today separating the thoughts and words of the firm's leader, who took over after Hadid died in March, from the firm itself. But a firm spokesperson tells ARCHITECT that this is not a distancing from Schumacher himself.

At the 2016 World Architecture Festival in Berlin earlier this month, Schumacher spoke about social housing in London and outlined "an eight-point plan for what he would do if ever elected mayor," according to Dezeen, which included "Abolish all forms of social and affordable housing" and "Privatise all streets, squares, public spaces and parks, possibly whole urban districts." A recording of the comments can be viewed on Dezeen's website.

The firm's open letter, which ARCHITECT received this morning, notes: "Patrik Schumacher’s ‘urban policy manifesto’ does not reflect Zaha Hadid Architects’ past—and will not be our future." (You can read the complete letter below.)

"He most certainly remains our principal," says a firm spokesperson to ARCHITECT. "This is nothing against Patrik."

Schumacher made this distinction between his comments and the beliefs of the firm in a Facebook post on Nov. 22: "Do my propositions advanced at WAF (or on Face-book) represent the opinion of ZHA? No, firms do not have opinions, only persons do. I made my remarks at WAF not as representative of ZHA but as an individual who likes to query and discuss the political framework under which our discipline contributes to the development of the city."

When asked if Schumacher was involved in preparing the letter, the firm spokesperson responded, "Patrik was not involved—it was a spontaneous gesture simply aimed at underlining, as said before, the core principles we share in the office."

The Guardian's architecture critic, Oliver Wainwright, tweeted out an additional statement reportedly issued by Rana Hadid, Lord Palumbo, and Brian Clarke:

Here is the complete statement issued by the firm today:

Open letter from Zaha Hadid Architects
November 29, 2016

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.

Zaha Hadid Architects has delivered 56 projects for all members of the community in 45 cities around the world.

Refusing to be confined by limitations or boundaries, Zaha did not reserve her ideology for the lecture hall. She lived it.

She deeply believed in the strongest international collaboration and we are very proud to have a hugely talented team of 50 different nationalities in our London office, including those from almost every EU country. 43% of architects at ZHA are of an ethnic minority and 40% of our architects are women.

Zaha Hadid didn’t just break glass ceilings and pull down barriers; she shattered them—inviting everyone of any race, gender, creed or orientation to join her on the journey.

Embedding a collective research culture into every aspect of our work, Zaha has built a team of many diverse talents and disciplines—and we will continue to innovate towards an architecture of inclusivity.

Architects around the world are calling for the profession to become more inclusive. The national and international press have also done a very good job highlighting the critical issues of housing and the threats to vital public spaces.

Through determination and sheer hard work, Zaha showed us all that architecture can be diverse and democratic. She inspired a whole new generation around the world to engage with their environment, to never stop questioning and never—ever—stop imagining.

Collaborating with clients, communities and specialists around the world who share this vision, everyone at Zaha Hadid Architects is dedicated to honouring Zaha’s legacy, working with passion and commitment to design and deliver the most transformational projects for all.

Zaha Hadid Architects