26 October 2010

Starchitects Waste Taxpayer Money (again)

Here is an article about some not-so-surprising issues with Eisenman's Aronoff Center at the University of Cincinnati, DAAP, a project that was overpriced, undersized and ugly when it was completed 14 years ago. It must now be repaired at a cost of $6 million. And to make matters worse, they felt they had to go on bended knee to ask Eisenman for his permission on the proposed solution. The solution to a crappy looking dryvit building with cheap ass drywall interiors.

When I was in school at UC, they were interviewing architects for this job. They invited several very famous architects to give lectures and show their work. Eisenman was by far the least qualified. He had no portfolio, except some unlivable houses built in the 70s. It was totally irresponsible of UC to spend taxpayer money on this charlatan. But we taxpayers continue to pay for their mistake:

... the building, an icon of architecture's "deconstructionist" movement, is deconstructing itself—literally coming apart at the seams because moisture has penetrated the "exterior insulating finishing system," as it's called, that makes up much of the angled facade. Now its dull, weather-stained wall panels are peeling away from windows and rooflines, and boils and rot mar the edges of some walls in busy locations. Attempts to correct the moisture problem by adding weep holes to drain away water didn't help. Nor did students, some of whom took to tossing rocks at the walls to see if the rocks would stick.

..."Our new buildings may not behave like our old buildings, where we wait a hundred years and then fix the brick," she says. "I'm not sure how long zinc will hang around."

UPDATE: New article in the Enquirer says the repairs will cost $20 million!!

Here is a photo of the great architect:


Mark Miller said...

Can we call it a "barndoggle?"

WestEnder said...

Engineering 1

Craig said...

If you were to actually do some research on the subject, you would find out that the problems with the DAAP building are not a result of architectural incompetence but rather incorrect installation of materials (EIFS wall material) and compromises on facade treatment.

CityKin said...

You call it compromises on the facade treatment, I call it designing a building within your budget. Yeah Eisenman designed a building with an exterior stone skin. Unfortunately his original design did not meet the design criteria: ie it was unbuildable within the already extravagant budget. And the exterior skin is not the only design flaw by far. Take for one example the library... The old library was too small, but was a quite pleasant space with huge amounts of natural light. So what does he design?..a new library that is again, too small, so small in fact that it had to be designed with shelving on wheels... and the space is ugly.. and frankly boring. He designed an underground bunker of dryvit, drywall and flourescent tubes. What a crock.