Feeds

MIT sues architect for crap computing-dept campus

Boffins sick of krazy-klown Picasso themepark

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

Frank Gehry, a member of the artistic school perhaps best described as Architects Renowned for their Startling Edifices, is being sued by MIT. A $300m building he designed for the famous technical university is allegedly faulty.

Gehry, feted among his fellow picture'n'model-mongers worldwide for eyecatching building designs such as the Guggenheim museum in Barcelona Bilbao, was the man responsible for the excitingly mad-looking Stata Centre at MIT. The complex houses the departments of computing, artificial intelligence, and linguistics.

Where architects live (MIT).

Interestingly, the MIT architecture department* - which has plenty of loonies of its own - is housed in a boring building with dull old vertical walls dating from 1916.

It seems that yet again it has proved difficult to turn a nifty cardboard model and 3D portfolio into a functioning building. MIT says the Stata Centre is incurably leaky and badly drained. The boffinry academics contend that Gehry's design led to serious cracking almost as soon as the building was completed three years ago. They also say that ice and snow fall off it periodically, causing damage and blocking exits; and that it sprouts mould due to being so wet.

Gehry already has form in this arena (in the police sense of "form" rather than the architectural). A building he designed for the University of California in 1986 had to be demolished because it leaked so much.

What architects design for the computing

department (MIT).

MIT's suit says it paid Gehry Partners $15m for the design, and seeks unspecified damages.

"Gehry breached its duties by providing deficient design services and drawings," runs the filing, as reported by AP.

Skanska, the construction firm which built the Stata Centre, is also named by MIT. However it says the problems are not its fault.

"This is not a construction issue, never has been," according to Paul Hewins, Skanska veep. He said Gehry had ignored warnings from his firm and consulting engineers regarding the Stata designs.

Mr Gehry won the Pritzker Prize in 1989, described as the "Nobel of architecture". The citation said "His ... always arresting body of work, has been variously described ... his buildings [are] a unique expression of contemporary society ..."

Which would seem to be a pretty damning indictment of contemporary society. ®

*Sample quote from the department head: "Materiality is of paramount importance since I see that the foundations of architecture, as a body of knowledge, are anchored in and generated from its physicality and tangibility."

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.