So I’m sure we’ve all heard about the whole MIT-sues-Gehry-because-their-building-is-leaking shamozzle, but apparently it is a bit of a beat up.
According to none other than Bill Mitchell however: “It was all about insurance, of course, an uninteresting wrangle over how to pay to fix some routine construction problems that inevitably arose in a large, ambitious and complex building.”
Importantly he points out that MIT are happy with the design, because several crusty old and not-so-old curmudgeons have been opportunistically using this incident to get stuck into Gehry’s design and have a big old “I don’t like it” whinge.
There is of course always the possibility that the efflorescence and cracking are the fault of the engineer or contractor. I remember reading that Steven Holl used the construction of the Pratt Institute as a teaching exercise for the archi students there, notably making a point of getting local and Canadian contractors to provide concrete and showing all of the students the difference between them. The local contractor’s concrete was pretty bad, so I wonder if this says something about the quality of construction in the north east USA?
Then again, perhaps it was all due to a badly written contract, shouldn’t responsibility for rectification be sorted out before building goes ahead?? Who knows, but I’m feeling a pull to get back to that box gutter I’m working on…