Friday, April 30, 2010

Wild Weekend II: In Transit

Ethan and Alex headed off for San Francisco Airport, on their way to Ann Arbor, MI; I headed for BART and Oakland Airport, on my way to Los Angeles. Down in the BART station, my phone rang. It was a bot call from Southwest, bearing the news that my 3 p.m. flight had been canceled. Oh, dread! I phoned Donna to say, don't know what I'm doing but maybe we can have lunch together. Phoned Southwest, planning to ask for a flight from either SFO or Oakland. They put me on the next plane out of Oakland. Phoned Donna, who met me at BART. Emailed and then phoned Brian from Out West Arts, who had very kindly offered to pick me up at LAX, to see if the change of plans would work for him. Ate lunch with Donna at an excellent taqueria near Fruitvale BART. Went to the airport. Arrived very early! Got on the plane. Landed in LA - man, that long, low approach gives you quite a view of the valley and Los Angeles. Met Brian and his partner. Dinner near the Chandler Pavilion and WDCH, where Brian was headed for Golijov's Pasion Segun San Marco. (The pickings are still very slim around there!) Walked to the Dot. Found that a prediction of mine from years back is coming true: Disney Hall needs seriously meticulous maintenance to keep that beautiful skin looking great, and it isn't quite getting it.

That tongue of metal? It appears to have slipped out of place.

Rainwater seems to be draining through the skin and leaving stains.


Daniel Wolf said...

Lisa, my tastes in architecture are decidedly not conservative, but if the building leaks, and the results of the leaking are obvious even in a droughted town like LA, someone has made a basic mistake.

Now, whether the mistake is compositional or performance practice may remain to be decided (and there's surely a roomful of attorneys working on this), but if the architects and engineers did not figure out in advance how the maintenance is supposed to work (and figure it into the running costs of the building), any basic mistakes will only be compounded.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Short answer: exactly right.

Long answer: I love WDCH, a great building as well as hall. A Gehry building at MIT has big problems with leakage and mold; I blogged about this in 2007 when MIT sued him. I also blogged about WDCH when I first saw it in 2005. (Going back to 1979, I worried about what the Centre Pompidou in Paris would look like if it were perfectly cared for!)

There may well be design issues with Disney. There are obvious execution issues. I have more photos of WDCH showing seams that look as though they're not properly closed off, more leakage, etc. I remember reading that there have been concerns about the ability of American workers and construction companies to execute the complex construction Gehry's buildings require, and, well, here's evidence.

Anonymous said...

It's the Le Corbusier of the 21st century. Over time, his buildings all became identifiable by the rainwater streaks running down them.