The newly-transformed Art Gallery of Ontario opens its doors this weekend. The Globe and Mail reports that the final ($276 million) product has met with the approval of its designer and world-famous architect, Frank Gehry, although he would make a few changes if more money was available.
At about this time a year ago, the famous architect and his firm were named as defendants in a lawsuit for alleged defects in a new building commissioned by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The construction company was also sued and the accusations began to fly as to whether the defects were the result of the architecture or the construction.
In responding to MIT’s lawsuit, Gehry told the New York Times that problems in complex buildings are inevitable, and that:
A building goes together with seven billion pieces of connective tissue. The chances of it getting done ever without something colliding or some misstep are small.
In commenting on that lawsuit and the parties’ response to it, lawyers at Stark & Stark in New Jersey made this observation in their Construction Litigation Law Blog:
It is disconcerting to see that a superstar architect, a global construction company and a world-class institute of higher learning, with $300 Million to spend cannot seem to create a water-tight building. Mr. Gehry seems to think that construction defects are par for the course. In that context, it comes as no surprise that we find problems with much simpler, mass-produced homes and condominiums.
The moral: First-year condo boards in a newly-constructed buildings should budget time and resources with the presumption that there will be defects and deficiencies that need to be addressed.
Be sure to visit the AGO.