Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Simbha

Mit Suing Gehry Over Stata Design Flaws

Recommended Posts

I love this stuff. If anyone out there hasn't read it yet, check out Stewart Brand's "How Buildings Learn".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I heard this had some serious design flaws several years back, so I'm a bit surprised they are just filing suit now. It looks like an amusement park funhouse, but I suppose there's no law against that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've seen it in person, although only the exterior. It's great for what it is -- a home for a school that encourages new ways of thinking. Just walking into it would put you in that frame of mind, I'm sure.

But if it's leaking on you, that's another issue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I've seen it in person, although only the exterior. It's great for what it is -- a home for a school that encourages new ways of thinking. Just walking into it would put you in that frame of mind, I'm sure.

But if it's leaking on you, that's another issue.

Maybe that's a good thing. It can remind people that "new ways of thinking" are often foolish, and that old ways of thinking usually succeeded because they solved hard problems.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hilarious article!

Back to the drawing board we go. If there were in 9.5 earthquake it could make it look upright. :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey I am no big fan of Frank Ghery.

His style of architecture just irritates me. The way he uses materials is just weird. I ablsoutely agree that it looks like a fun hous or an amuzement park. Apart from the museum in Balbao, I think everything else that he does is way too gimicky for me.

Lets just say if I were a client with the cash he would not be my architct.

Having said all that I respect the guy and I respect what he is doing for architecture.

He is questioning the old ways of doing things. Thats how innovations happen.

I realy cant believe the person who wrote this:

It can remind people that "new ways of thinking" are often foolish, and that old ways of thinking usually succeeded because they solved hard problems.

Using the old way is the easy way out. You are not solving new problems by using old ways. You are putting you mind to sleep when you rely on the old ways too much my friend.

If you dont want to challenge "old ways of thiking" and look at things in a new way then you might as well go off and live in a cave. While you do that, people with "new ways of thinking" will continue to discover things like the earth is round, that human biengs can reach the moon, and the internet for eg.

Let me remind you, when you do new things you are experimenting, and when you experiment the risks of failure and mistakes are always very high. Just ask any todler who is experimenting with the concept of walking.

I can't help but gasp at all the fuss about Frank Ghery making a mistake.

I am sure many other architects make mistakes too. I do.

When an unknown architect makes a mistake its okay but when Frank does than its like "Oh, there you go... I told you so about those high fashon architects, all they do is make funky buildings that does not function."

I say thats Bull!

What about all the other 99.999% of his buildings that did not leak.

I am actually surprised that more of his buildings did not have more problems.

To have so many few leaks or problems with the amount of experimentation that he does is actually pretty darn good.

I say let the arcitect without a mistake be the one to throw the first stone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I realy cant believe the person who wrote this:

That was me. Please believe me.

I say let the arcitect without a mistake be the one to throw the first stone.

And I say read some Christopher Alexander and Stewart Brand's book "How Buildings Learn".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the reply Memebag.

Unfortunately with my schedule I don't think I will have the time to read "How buildings learn" anytime soon, though I am interested. Even if I did read it, I may come away from it drawing a different understanding from you anyway.

Can you tell me what it was about the book that drove you to make that statement?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for the reply Memebag.

Unfortunately with my schedule I don't think I will have the time to read "How buildings learn" anytime soon, though I am interested. Even if I did read it, I may come away from it drawing a different understanding from you anyway.

Can you tell me what it was about the book that drove you to make that statement?

It shows the downside of new for the sake of new. Architectural patterns like square corners, pitched roofs and deep eaves are very good solutions to the problems of rain and snow. That doesn't mean you can never improve upon them, or that you can't try something else, but you should be aware that what may seem boring and traditional actually has a good reason for being so widely accepted.

A lot of modern architecture grew from an assumption that new materials would allow us to discard traditional designs. In some cases that was correct, but in others (particularly around roofs) it wasn't. We're left with whole schools of architecture that ignore a fundamental flaw (like letting rain come in) for aesthetic reasons.

Brand's book is a pretty quick read. Give it a shot. It changed the way I look at buildings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It shows the downside of new for the sake of new. Architectural patterns like square corners, pitched roofs and deep eaves are very good solutions to the problems of rain and snow. That doesn't mean you can never improve upon them, or that you can't try something else, but you should be aware that what may seem boring and traditional actually has a good reason for being so widely accepted.

A lot of modern architecture grew from an assumption that new materials would allow us to discard traditional designs. In some cases that was correct, but in others (particularly around roofs) it wasn't. We're left with whole schools of architecture that ignore a fundamental flaw (like letting rain come in) for aesthetic reasons.

Brand's book is a pretty quick read. Give it a shot. It changed the way I look at buildings.

I cant disagree with you on any point here.

I am totally agianst the philosophy of "new for the sake of new". I have heard that philosophy being pushed like hot bread in architecture school and I reacted against it harshly. However I do encourage sincere experimentation even if I dont like the results, which is the case of Frank Ghery.

It reminds me of how Frank Lloyd Wright questioned the traditional architecture around him at the time. They too were based on good reasons and were widely accepted because of that. Here is a quote from one of his early papers "Art and Craft of the Machine" as he describes how he attacked the traditional house:

So first thing I had to do was to get rid of the attic and, therefore of the dormer and of the useless "heights" below it. And next, get rid of the unwholesome basement, entirely-yes, absolutely- in any house built on the prairie. instead of lean, brick chimneys, bristling up from steep roofs to hint at "judgment" everywhere, I could see necessity for one only, a broad generous one, or at most, for two, those kept low down on gently sloping roofs or perhaps flat roofs. The big fireplace below, inside, became now a place for a real fire, justified the great size of this chimney outside. A real fireplace at that time was extraordinary. There were then "mantles" instead. A mantel was a marble frame for a few coals, or piece of wooden furniture with tiles stuck in it and a "grate" was an insult to comfort, but the integral fireplace became an important part of the building itself in the houses I was allowed to build out there on the prairie. It refreshed me to see the fire burning in the masonry of the house itself.

Taking a human being for my scale, I brought the whole house down in height to fit a normal man; believing in no other scale, I broadened the mass out, all I possibly could, as I brought it down into spaciousness. It has been said that were I three inches taller all my houses would have been quite different in proportion. Perhaps.

We learn today that the "gently sloping roofs" often leaked. But oh boy!, werent they beautiful?

Arent you glad that Wright did what he did even though it leaked?

His experimentation inspired a whole generation of architects and what he did wrong in techneque others came along and did it better.

His reasons for attacking the traditionl way were often based purely on aesthetics and intuition.

I say "whats wrong with that?" Why not?

Isnt architecture part practical part aesthetic, a merging of the two?

If it "seems boring" lets fix it.

Architecture has a responsibility to serve the soul as well as the client. It is tough, I know.

I believe that an architecture that solves all the practical problem, and is boring is just as bad as architecture that is exciting and leaks.

It seems to me that every generation of architects that comes along has aesthetic issues with the past generation's work and tries to change it accordingly. When they do, they have problems & practical issues and they work on solving it for a long time. By the time they solve it, the next generation views it as old tradition, they come along with a new aesthetic and begin the cycle all over again.

I wouldnt call that foolish though.

I would modify your statement to say

It can remind people that "new ways of thinking" are often experimental and weak (like a baby just learning to walk), and that old ways of thinking usually succeeded because they have been exprimenting for a much longer time.

Wouldnt you agree?

Edited by frankk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We learn today that the "gently sloping roofs" often leaked. But oh boy!, werent they beautiful?

Arent you glad that Wright did what he did even though it leaked?

No. Keeping rain out is much more important than looking beautiful. Buildings that let rain in die quickly.

His experimentation inspired a whole generation of architects and what he did wrong in techneque others came along and did it better.

But their roofs still leak. Without extraordinary funding they won't survive their first mortgage period.

His reasons for attacking the traditionl way were often based purely on aesthetics and intuition.

I say "whats wrong with that?" Why not?

Because you can't live and work in pure aesthetics. No matter how beautiful a building is, it has to meet the needs of its users. Wright's buildings are notorious for not meeting those needs.

Isnt architecture part practical part aesthetic, a merging of the two?

If it "seems boring" lets fix it.

Architecture has a responsibility to serve the soul as well as the client. It is tough, I know.

Aesthetics are important, but we've already found great looking ways to solve basic problems. Discarding those solutions for others that are functionally flawed out of boredom is irresponsible and lazy.

Wouldnt you agree?

Nope.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Because you can't live and work in pure aesthetics. No matter how beautiful a building is, it has to meet the needs of its users.

Ofcourse a building that leaks is bad.

Ofcourse a building has to meet the needs of its users.

Who would not agree with that?

The question was not weather a functional building is better than a purely aesthetic building that ignored function. Thats not the issue.

You probably did not see this statement in my reply. Let me say it again:

I believe that an architecture that solves all the practical problem, and is boring, is just as bad as architecture that is exciting and leaks.

The statement implies at least two things.

1. I believe that architecture that is aesthetically exciting and leaks is bad.

2. I believe that architecture that is purely functional and aesthetically boring is bad.

The key here is the balance between the two.

I would not want a purely aesthetically pleasing building that leaks and I certainly don't think you would either. No matter how beautiful it is.

At the same time I do not want to live in a ugly building that satisfied all the practical needs no matter how functional it is. The question is would you?

Architecture has a responsibility to be passionate and beautiful just as much as it has a responsibility to function.

You seem to take issue with the first part of the statement.

So let me ask you this question;

Would you marry an ugly functional woman?

*

But their roofs still leak. Without extraordinary funding they won't survive their first mortgage period.

When I said

His experimentation inspired a whole generation of architects and what he did wrong in technique others came along and did it better.

You misunderstood what I was saying. I did not mean that other architects were repairing his buildings. I meant other architects who were inspired by his work such as Mies who did the brick house inspired by Wright (though it was never built) learned from Wright's mistakes and improved on it. He took the freedom of Wright's expression and had it been built, it probably would not have leaked.

In other words, his experimentation inspired further questions in other architects minds. How can I make a building this beautiful that does not leak? How can I do it better? Thus you get a chain of innovations.

Wright's buildings are notorious for not meeting those needs.

I agree that Wright's buildings don't meet those needs. In fact I said so

We learn today that the "gently sloping roofs" often leaked.

Why overstate the obvious?

I praised Wright's enthusiasm for architecture. That he was willing to experiment to make beautiful spaces. Unlike Ghery's experimentation, I happen to like Wright's work.

Don't be confused because of that, I think his work is flawed because it failed to function properly. That makes it bad architecture but a beautiful experiment that we can all learn from.

The real question here (which you seem to duck last time) is:

Should every generation that comes along accept the aesthetics of the past generation without being critical of them?

You kind of hint a it here when you said

Aesthetics are important, but we've already found great looking ways to solve basic problems.

This is under the assumption that what you call "great lookng" and what I call "great looking" are the same thing.

Highly unlikely.

Anyway, by your statement then we have all the basic solution to architecture in our possession "solved". Maybe we should close the patent office and stop accepting any further innovations or new solutions contrary to the great looking ways to solve basic problems that we already have.

To that I say:

Should architecture 100 years from now look the same as they do today?

You go on to say

Discarding those solutions for others that are functionally flawed out of boredom is irresponsible and lazy.

I would say it is more lazy to reproduce the same old solutions like a rubber stamp.

I would say that it takes more effort to really question those solutions, ask why they work the way they work, ask how can I make it better. ask are they still valid today, ask are there any new products/materials on the market that can do the job better, faster, cheaper, and more beautifully.

ask, ask, ask,

every time.

Then you would have to use your brain.

The solutions that arise from these questions have a much higher probability for being "functionally flawed" than the cookie cutter solutions because they haven't been tested by time.

Do you propose not asking these questions all together because you might make a mistake?

God forbid the roof might leak!

We cant be afraid to take Risks!

Another question:

Didn't the basic solutions that we have today start out as experimentation many years ago?

Should we be labeled irresponsible and lazy when we explore the limitations of what new technology has to offer?

Is that really your answer?:

Aesthetics are important, but we've already found great looking ways to solve basic problems. Discarding those solutions for others that are functionally flawed out of boredom is irresponsible and lazy.

Its not out of boredom its out of curiosity, its out imagination, it is out of a genuine desire to do it better.

To shut down those aspects of yourself as an architect is irresponsible!

Edited by frankk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Link is dead.

but I'm not surprised about this type of lawsuit, pretty common

Gehry is brandscape capitalist, whose architecture appeals to mainly materialistic people.

If anything, Bilbao Guggenheim represents the high water mark for post modernism.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ofcourse a building that leaks is bad.

Ofcourse a building has to meet the needs of its users.

Who would not agree with that?

The question was not weather a functional building is better than a purely aesthetic building that ignored function. Thats not the issue.

You probably did not see this statement in my reply. Let me say it again:

"I believe that an architecture that solves all the practical problem, and is boring, is just as bad as architecture that is exciting and leaks."

(When you quote yourself, it doesn't show up when others quote you.)

I disagree with that statement. Solving practical problems is more important than excitement. Excitement is fleeting. Leaks are not.

So let me ask you this question;

Would you marry an ugly functional woman?

No, but I don't have to live or work in a wife. I will live and work in ugly buildings.

You misunderstood what I was saying. I did not mean that other architects were repairing his buildings. I meant other architects who were inspired by his work such as Mies who did the brick house inspired by Wright (though it was never built) learned from Wright's mistakes and improved on it. He took the freedom of Wright's expression and had it been built, it probably would not have leaked.

In other words, his experimentation inspired further questions in other architects minds. How can I make a building this beautiful that does not leak? How can I do it better? Thus you get a chain of innovations.

I'm saying the "experimentation" Wright's work inspired still leaks.

I agree that Wright's buildings don't meet those needs. In fact I said so

Why overstate the obvious?

It isn't just leaks.

I praised Wright's enthusiasm for architecture. That he was willing to experiment to make beautiful spaces. Unlike Ghery's experimentation, I happen to like Wright's work.

Don't be confused because of that, I think his work is flawed because it failed to function properly. That makes it bad architecture but a beautiful experiment that we can all learn from.

Agreed. We can all learn not to toss aside tried and true solutions because we don't like how they look. We can learn that traditional patterns of architecture often survived hundreds or thousands of years because they were better than any other alternative. We can learn that we probably aren't as smart as we assume we are.

The real question here (which you seem to duck last time) is:

Should every generation that comes along accept the aesthetics of the past generation without being critical of them?

You kind of hint a it here when you said

This is under the assumption that what you call "great lookng" and what I call "great looking" are the same thing.

Highly unlikely.

I'll assume you are unfamiliar with QWAN, right?

The solutions that arise from these questions have a much higher probability for being "functionally flawed" than the cookie cutter solutions because they haven't been tested by time.

Do you propose not asking these questions all together because you might make a mistake?

God forbid the roof might leak!

Ask question in a laboratory, not in someone else's house or office.

We cant be afraid to take Risks!

Sure we can. When it comes to buildings, it's irresponsible not to be afraid of risk.

Its not out of boredom its out of curiosity, its out imagination, it is out of a genuine desire to do it better.

I disagree. I think Wright's approach to architecure was to change things that didn't need to be changed because he thought he could. He thought he was smarter than thousands of years of accumulated wisdom. That isn't imagination; that is hubris.

Don't misconstrue my argument as being againt innovation or change. That's nothing like what I've said. If we have a better way to solve a problem, we should use it and try to make it look as good as we can. Wright and Gehry didn't do that. I'm arguing that we shouldn't celebrate architects who make bad buildings just because they look different. I'm arguing that we should never ignore the principle functions of structures out of arrogance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is an interesting discussion, and I think everyone is arriving at the same conclusion - good architecture is an part of evolutionary process that changes slowly over time as people learn how to improve upon previous techniques. Stewart Brand's book shows us that this evolutionary process is evident throughout the lifecycle of many buildings. As occupants attempt to make improvements, buildings become more "refined" over time. This refinement can take the form of improved aesthetics, lower maintenance, or adaptability to a greater amount of uses.

The key concept here is the evolution of buildings, and architecture as a whole, builds on itself and improves SLOWLY over time. It does not and cannot improve instantaneously with a single person or project. In my opinion, a successful architect is one who utilizes proven methods of building to create something that is usable, but also unique and aesthetically pleasing...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...