Zaha Hadid Architects has announced the creation of its Employee Benefit Trust and the transition to employee ownership. Established by Zaha Hadid in 1980, the practice with studios in London and Beijing now comprises over 500 professionals taking forward the legacy of the renowned architect. The organizational shift will ensure that profits are reinvested back into the business, into facilities and equipment, benefiting the entire staff while allowing the practice to prioritize visionary architectural endeavours.
"With her extraordinary vision for the future and generosity in entrusting the practice to the friends and colleagues with whom she collaborated for several decades, Zaha has empowered every member of our team to nurture, develop and continue the work she began over 40 years ago" reads the announcement, basing the decision in the values of the late architect herself. Through its transition to employee ownership, Zaha Hadid Architects aims to foster a more transparent organizational system, giving agency to the team in shaping the company's future.
ZHA joins an extensive list of employee-owned architecture practices such as White Arkitekter, Make Architects, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris or BRP Architects. The model is being embraced by more and more firms each year, as it holds significant advantages in succession planning and stimulates employee management. At the same time, the move comes with considerable tax incentives in many countries. In the UK, in particular, the legislature encourages wider employee ownership, and the number of employee-owned businesses has been increasing by 10% each year.