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This Just In: MIT Sues Frank Gehry

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has has filed a negligence suit against famed architect Frank Gehry for serious design flaws in the Stata Center, a campus building holding labs, offices, classrooms, and meeting rooms. MIT paid Gehry $15 million to design the building, which was completed in 2004, and spent $300 million to build it. The school alleges the flaws in Gehry's design have caused leaks, drainage problems, and mold growing on its brick exterior.

According to Gehry: "You never quite know where they went wrong. A building goes together with seven billion pieces of connective tissue. The chances of it getting done ever without something colliding or some misstep are small." The Stata Center’s builder, Skanska USA Building Inc., is also a defendant in the case, but Paul Hewins, executive vice president and area general manager of the company, told The Globe: “This is not a construction issue. Never has been.”

Join The Conversation
mandaleebee mandaleebee 8 years
It is the BUILDER'S job to make sure that the design is implemented in a way that functions correctly after it is built. I don't understand why this lawsuit is focusing on Gehry more than the builder. I went to architecture school and worked for an architecture firm for a year afterwards, and no matter what the design, an engineer is always brought in to do the structural design. I've also worked for a construction company and they would always make the necessary changes to a building plan if they saw something that would not function correctly in the real world. With that said, sucks they are having issues with it, but I would really like to check out this building!
aurora2615 aurora2615 9 years
I work at MIT in a building very near this one... it is SO COOL... and the inside is even crazier. Too bad it's avant garde-ness led to these kinds of problems, though.
UrbanBohemian UrbanBohemian 9 years
Uh oh...this will be a case worth following as it unfolds.
sugarsister sugarsister 9 years
the architectural firm i work for is in the original gehry building which he built and worked from for years. maybe we should pull our desks out into the parking lot
Tari007 Tari007 9 years
My company is 2 blocks from this building. IT looks SO COOL, it's an amazing piece of architecture....too bad it was poorly designed.
SkinnyMarie SkinnyMarie 9 years
None of his designs are functional. Ever. Do you know how he designs a building? He builds models that are completely abstract and have nothing to do with the natural surrounding. Then he tells his other architects "make it work". True function would be Normal Foster. Look how he incorporated his work into the Reichstag. The Gherkin, the Millennium Bridge. This isn't Gehrys first boo boo. I heard Bilbao has some problems of its own. Sue his butt off MIT.
kikkoman kikkoman 9 years
I love Gehry's work. It's too bad about the legal problems though.
yeti yeti 9 years
I feel bad for the builders though. The NYT article says that the building company formally suggested some changes and Gehry refused. Yet they are co-defendants in the lawsuit. Sigh. But the question of who shall pay for malfunctions should've been ironed out in the contract before the thing was built, no?
designergirl designergirl 9 years
It's a beautiful building. Unfortunately, you have to expect some unexpected problems with contemporary design solutions.
Rachel419 Rachel419 9 years
I love this building, its so pretty! Its really unfortunate that there're issues.
terryt18 terryt18 9 years
I'm with Marcella...many of Gehry's designs are absolutely gorgeous and functional. I wonder how this suit will play out tho. I also love Santiago Calatrava.
chancleta chancleta 9 years
for that price he better come back and fix his errors
marcella marcella 9 years
whatever... caveat emptor. MIT is lame anyway. Viva Gehry!
cfoley11 cfoley11 9 years
I used to live in Kendall sq where that building is located. Let me tell you it is an absolute eyesore. It reflects so much light that it is blinding to the whole street. There are alot of really ugly buildings and really beautiful buildings on the MIT campus.
steen steen 9 years
Wouldn't the mold on the exterior be a materials problem? I guess I'm not sure if Gehry simply drew up the building or if he oversaw the whole process, start to finish.
redegg redegg 9 years
Function follows form on this one.
Lizzard214 Lizzard214 9 years
I wouldn't mind seeing that building in person sometime.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Uh oh...
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