ArchDaily’s list of the 9 worst architectural lawsuits and disputes

Thomas Musca, writing for ArchDaily, compiled a list of nine examples of the worst architectural claims, disputes and lawsuits:

What did Pritzker Prize winner Frank Gehry get when he designed the Stata Center, an exuberantly whimsical academic complex for MIT? A very large check, plus a major lawsuit, alleging negligence and breach of contract due to rampant leaks, mold, cracks, drainage problems and sliding ice. Sometimes the most inspired designs can go awry. And when they do, some clients lawyer up. Here are 9 fascinating examples.

  1. Millennium Tower, San Francisco, California
  2. US Bank Tower’s OUE Skyslide, Los Angeles, California
  3. 5 Pointz Demolition, Queens, New York
  4. Palacio de Exposiciones y Congresos Ciudad, Oviedo, Spain
  5. Ray and Maria Stata Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  6. Harmon Tower, Las Vegas, Nevada
  7. Johnson Museum Extension, Ithaca, New York
  8. Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Cosa Mesa, California
  9. Farnsworth House, Plano, Illinois

Read Musca’s article for background on the conflicts associated with these well known architectural commissions.

Special Bonus!

One project not on the list that few people are aware of having been involved with not one, but multiple legal conflicts is Frank Gehry’s legendary Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown LA.

Shortly after opening, the highly polished reflective metal panels that formed the building’s skin were found to be redirecting and concentrating sunlight. The heat was so powerful it was causing damage to neighboring properties, as well as creating potential distractions for drivers on nearby freeways.

Gehry’s solution involved sandblasting some panels that were identified through sophisticated computer modeling to be most problematic.

Separately, at least one personal injury claim has been brought against the architect and others for allegedly dangerous conditions that resulted in injury.


Image courtesy Wikimedia