There is a saying that ‘all good architecture leaks’. While likely not intended as an endorsement for water damage, this video takes the phrase seriously by playfully sorting through some of architecture’s greatest leaks. Frank Lloyd Wright was famously dismissive of the many unintentional leaks in his buildings, once telling Mr. Johnson to move his table if he didn’t like it getting rained on. However, there are a number of great intentional leaks throughout architecture as well, such as the entry hall of Peter Zumthor’s Therme Baths in Vals. The walls allow groundwater to seep in from the surrounding mountain while forming beautiful murals out of mineral deposits the water picked up while on its journey through the earth. Whether leaks are intentional or unintentional, they are an inevitable and important reality for architects. There should always be plans for the water that will get into our buildings and this video offers five humorous strategies for making those plans.
Architecture with Stewart is a YouTube journey exploring architecture’s deep and enduring stories in all their bewildering glory. Weekly videos and occasional live events breakdown a wide range of topics related to the built environment in order to increase their general understanding and advocate their importance in shaping the world we inhabit.
Stewart Hicks is an architectural design educator that leads design studios and lecture courses as an Associate Professor in the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He also serves as an Associate Dean in the College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts and is the co-founder of the practice Design With Company. His work has earned awards such as the Architecture Record Design Vanguard Award or the Young Architect’s Forum Award and has been featured in exhibitions such as the Chicago Architecture Biennial and Design Miami, as well as at the V&A Museum and Tate Modern in London. His writings can be found in the co-authored book Misguided Tactics for Propriety Calibration, published with the Graham Foundation, as well as essays in MONU magazine, the AIA Journal Manifest, Log, bracket, and the guest-edited issue of MAS Context on the topic of character architecture.