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Let The Frank Gehry Backlash Begin!


It's bad enough that Frank Gehry seems to have gotten every major architectural commission of the past 20 years. (I mean, Bilbao is very cool, but the novelty starts to wear off after a while, especially when its tricks get repeated again and again.) But now it looks like Gehry's buildings aren't only repetitive, they're leaky! From the Boston Globe:

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has filed a negligence suit against world-renowned architect Frank Gehry, charging that flaws in his design of the $300 million Stata Center in Cambridge, one of the most celebrated works of architecture unveiled in years, caused leaks to spring, masonry to crack, mold to grow, and drainage to back up.

The suit says that MIT paid Los Angeles-based Gehry Partners $15 million to design the Stata Center, which was hailed by critics as innovative and eye-catching with its unconventional walls and radical angles. But soon after its completion in spring 2004, the center's outdoor amphitheater began to crack due to drainage problems, the suit says. Snow and ice cascaded dangerously from window boxes and other projecting roof areas, blocking emergency exits and damaging other parts of the building, according to the suit. Mold grew on the center's brick exterior, the suit says, and there were persistent leaks throughout the building.

It was going to take something extraordinary to break the strange spell Gehry seems to have cast over major institutions looking to erect notable buildings. Maybe this will do the trick.

--Jason Zengerle