Starchitecture Eroding

Eric Felton writes that buyers of splashy, starchitect-designed buildings are finding all too often that innovation in form leads to unforeseen structural problems.

Felton writes:

"There is a fundamental conflict in the building of landmark edifices, says Dana Sherman, who teaches engineering law at the University of Southern California. The museum and concert-hall clients "expect art in the outcome," and yet "they also expect engineering precision and certainty in the fabrication." Radically designed buildings are essentially massive inventions produced and sold without prototypes. Is it any surprise they tend to be glitchy?"

The new wing of the Art Institute of Chicago is cited as but one example.

Full Story: Pardon Us, But Our Museum Is Falling Apart



Old Story About Starchitecture

Frank Gehry's Stata Center at MIT, whose walls look like they are collapsing, had so many leaks that that a Boston Globe columnist called it a "$300 million fixer-upper" in 2004.

Charles Siegel

More on Starchitecture

Across the river from I.M. Pei's earlier disaster, the world's tallest plywood building!
J. David Stein


My father, an eminent architect, used to complain frequently that clients would come to him and say "I just saw your such and such building. I loved it. Design me something completely different."
He was more than aware of the problem, and spent a great deal of his life working on systems of building prefabrication to reduce costs and the problems of untested designs. Sadly, we are still happy to buy identical cars, but rarely to live in identical structures.

J. David Stein

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