Famous architects are often seen as more enigma than person, but behind even the biggest names hide the scandals and tragedies of everyday life. As celebrities of a sort, many of the world's most famed architects have faced rumors and to this day there are questions about the truth of their private affairs. Clients and others in their studios would get a glimpse into an architect’s personal life, but sometimes the sheer force of personality that often comes with creative genius would prevent much insight. The fact remains, however, that these architects’ lives were more than the sum of their buildings.
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.
One of architecture’s greatest tales – the commission of Mies van der Rohe’s seminal Farnsworth House – is set to receive the Hollywood treatment. As reported by Showbiz 411’s Roger Friedman, the story of the home’s construction will be taken on by actors Jeff Bridges (as the architect) and Maggie Gyllenhaal (as Dr. Edith Farnsworth), who last teamed up for 2009’s acclaimed Crazy Heart.
In recent years, Mies van der Rohe's famous glass-walled Farnsworth House has been under a grave threat from flooding by the Fox River which runs right past it. In the past 18 years, the house has been flooded three times, causing thousands of dollars worth of damage, and now its owners the National Trust for Historic Preservation are considering plans for a permanent solution - among which is a plan to install hydraulic stilts which would lift the entire house out of harm's way in the event of a flood.
Read more about the plans after the break
Two of the most iconic projects from the modern movement built in the US take part in a play by June Finfer, directed by Evan Bergman. The design and building of Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House and Philip Johnson’s Glass House is the background for the penetrating dramatic plot that entwines the epic conflict between artist and patron. The Glass House explores the classic struggle of ambition, love and betrayal.
Post Performance Talks by Paul Goldberger (Architectural Critic and Author), Barry Bergdoll (MoMA), Annabelle Selldorf (Architect), Christy MacLear (Executive Director of Philip Johnson Glass House), Dietrich Neumann (Architectural Educator), Whitney French (Executive Director of Farnsworth House) and Barry Wood (Architect).
Dates and more info after the break.