Monday, November 12, 2007

Daily News on Gehry, Via No Land Grab



NY Post
By Kyle Smith

StataCenter-NYP.jpgWhen there are problems with Frank Gehry's buildings, the startchitect's response is to blame the victim. MIT is the latest of several high-profile projects that display a sincere lack of common sense — will Brooklyn be next?

In a lawsuit first reported by the Boston Globe last week, MIT alleged that the three-year-old Stata Center, one of Gehry's trademark designs from the Four Car Pileup school of architecture, is already suffering from cracks in its amphitheater because of poor drainage, as well as widespread leaks that have been there since virtually the day the building opened. In winter, outdoor mini-avalanching turns entrances into hard hat zones.

Professors at the MIT building - including Noam Chomsky - complain that they can't put in bookcases (the walls are tilted) and they're living in a zoo because of the open plan's lack of privacy (actually, it's more like living in a petri dish - there's mold growing on the outside). People with IQs that exceed Queen Latifah's weight have complained that they get lost in the maze-like internal layout. One of the conference rooms stuck into the roof is so bizarrely shaped that a third or more of all visitors - including Gehry himself - suffer dizzy spells in it.

One of Gehry's most praised creations had to be torn up because its floor was too slippery for women in heels. Who could have expected fashionable women to congregate in such a space - the Conde Nast Cafeteria here in Midtown?
Gehry is diluting his cool factor so quickly - now he's designing jewelry, wristwatches and the Wyborowa Vodka bottle - that he seems determined to become the Pierre Cardin of design, and once his stuff is everywhere, as it soon will be, future generations will look at his jumbly faddish structures the way we look at shoulder pads or hoop skirts. When he builds the Ground Zero arts center and the new home of the Brooklyn Nets, will he embarrass us the way he has so many others?

Yeah, he sucks, what took people so long to realize this? Are our elite this naive? Are critics? Do they not have eyes? Do they not have brains to ask simple questions like, "hmm it looks unusual, but how practical is it to actually work there? How practical are those roofs in cities with heavy snowfalls?". Gehry represents the ultimate arrogance and agoraphobic nature of 'starchitects' -ego driven maniacs whose vanity designs not only try to defy human nature, but nature itself. Even if there were ways, for example to say, melt the snow on the roofs- it is extremely wasteful to not have a design that simply does the job in the first place.

IF AY gets built (and that's a big if, no only because of the lawsuits but because of the increasing infeasibility of the whole scheme, oh but wait Ratner doesn't care because we absorb all the risk), IF it does, it will be a laughing stock and eyesore before its finished. And given both Ratner and Gehry's track record, it will be an impractical poorly constructed mess, which will probably start to fall apart before it's finsihed.

Side note the maze like corridors were intentionally designed by Gehry so people would bump into each other and spontaneously interact.

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