M.I.T. Sues Architect Frank Gehry

The NYTimes reports about MIT suing Architect Frank Gehry over the Stata Center he designed in 2004.

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.

The suit says MIT paid Los Angeles-based Gehry Partners $15 million to design the Stata Center, which cost $300 million to build. It houses labs, offices, classrooms and meeting rooms.

”Gehry breached its duties by providing deficient design services and drawings,” according to the suit, which also names New Jersey-based Beacon Skanska Construction Co., now known as Skanska USA Building Inc. The suit, filed Oct. 31, seeks unspecified damages.

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Architects being sued by owners is nothing new. However when the architect happens to be one of the greatest living exponents of the art, then its time we all sit up and evaluate what’s going on.

If you have been to this building I would love to hear what you think about it. Personally when I toured the building, I found at least a few places where it was a disaster waiting to happen. A lot of it had to do with there being a certain lackadiasical attitude to design detailing. It will be interesting to see how this one evolves.

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