MIT sues Frank Gehry

MIT sues Frank Gehry: stata-center.jpgI don’t know much about this developing story, but it’s interesting on its face… M.I.T. Sues Architect Frank Gehry – New York Times (and here’s a longer piece in the NYT):

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is suing renowned architect Frank Gehry, alleging serious design flaws in the Stata Center, a building celebrated for its unconventional walls and radical angles.

The school asserts that the center, completed in spring 2004, has persistent leaks, drainage problems and mold growing on its brick exterior. It says accumulations of snow and ice have fallen dangerously from window boxes and other areas of its roofs, blocking emergency exits and causing damage.

Maybe unfair, but one interpretation: award-winning “radical” designs aren’t great if they can’t keep snow off the emergency exit.

[There are all sorts of stories about famous architects and there rejoinders to complaints about leaky roofs… Frank Lloyd Wright they claim told one client who was complaining about a roof leak dripping on his chair to move his chair. Another comment was that you wouldn’t know it was a roof if it didn’t leak. It’s simple really, it’s just a question of priority. If you want something that amazes by its design and look it’s going to require trying new materials and techniques. If you’re trying to build stuff you haven’t built before, there is going to be a learning curve, and unexpected results. It’s the same thing that makes so many software projects “grow”, or “late”, or “overbudget”. Stick with stuff that’s been done many times before and it won’t leak or drop melting ice in front of doorways. But it won’t inspire or delight except in its utility. Fine if that’s what you want, but you don’t hire Gehry for that.]
Source: Good Experience Blog

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