The Unlivable Complaint


Tropolism means calling bullshit. Usually it's architects. They talk a lot. Present company included. But today we call client bullshit. Sunday, The New York Times published its magazine issue entirely devoted to architecture. If there was ever a time to cancel your subscription, it would be the unbearably gotcha! reporting in this article by Michael Kimmelman. My favorite complaining-person quote:

"We wanted prefab, and instead we got a creative architect's iteration of prefab. It's not Green. It's not solar. It was twice over budget and construction was a nightmare and it's still not finished."

First of all, what were you, the client, doing during the year or two you spent developing this project with Steven Holl? Did you ask him for a prefab house? Did you mention to him that his design wasn't a prefab house? Did you notice that none of his other houses, or anything he's ever done, has been prefab? Did you ask for solar? Why did you approve the construction contract if the project was over budget? Did you approve the design and construction details, or was it sneaked by you over the one to two year period that the house was under construction? The client's hedge about getting a work of art may be so, but it stretches the bounds of credulity to blame the designer for not delivering a built house that you don't like.


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