Following the construction industry and related legal topics in the United States.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Too much celebrating?

Alleging serious design and construction defects in its Stata Center, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology just sued two heavyweights: Frank Gehry's firm, Gehry Partners, based in L.A., and Skanska. The Stata Center opened to much acclaim in 2004, when Mr. Gehry observed that "it looks like a party of drunken robots got together to celebrate." Three years later, there's a lot of finger pointing going on. Not surprisingly, Gehry claims that "the issues are fairly minor" and that MIT's value engineering is to blame, while Skanska alleges that Gehry rejected recommendations that would have mitigated against poor drainage. Meanwhile, apparently keeping his head well below the skirmish, one robotics professor who works in the building commented that it "is a joy to work" there. He went on, "We asked Frank to give us a building that fostered communication, and he delivered." Everybody's talking now. See the New York Times for the complete story. (This entry published by Laura Luger, a member of Womble Carlyle's real estate and construction law practice group.)

The Ray and Maria Stata Center. Photo by bypnyc.


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