Arch. Myriam B. Mahiques Curriculum Vitae

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Moshe Safdie´s building in Kansas will be dismantled

The building that will be dismantled in Kansas. Picture from the article

I´ve been reading today about the controversial building designed by Viñoly´s UK Art Center, it was finally opened after a litigation: the reason, rising costs, redesign of the structure on site. And this is not the only example. Starchitects sometimes seem not to care about huge construction costs. Best example, Calatrava. Now, it was the time for arch. Moshe Safdie to suffer the consequences. Or maybe the contractors are not selected with the required experience to build difficult shapes.

Moshe Safdie. Picture downloaded from the article
Moshe Safdie. From

By Kevin Collison. The Kansas City Star:
Water poured into the unfinished West Edge building’s atrium last March through an open ceiling. Mike Allen of Caymus Real Estate toured the project.(..)
More than one observer has compared the imposing curved balconies that architect Moshe Safdie designed for the grand atrium of the new Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts to the iconic swirl of the Guggenheim Museum in New York.
A similarly dramatic interior was created by Safdie in Kansas City, but most of us will never see it.
That’s because the office building he designed for Kansas City advertising executive Bob Bernstein at the West Edge near the Country Club Plaza is slated to be dismantled.
In a recent interview, Safdie said he was “heartbroken” that building wouldn’t be completed.
“It’s really sad,” he said. “We spent five to six years of our lives laboring over every detail. … A lot of love and care went into this.
“I feel particularly sad for the Bernstein family. It was a noble undertaking. They wanted a headquarters but obviously wanted to do something for the entire city.”
For several years now the exterior of the forlorn, unfinished structure at 48th Street and Belleview Avenue has been part of thousands of people’s daily commutes on Southwest Trafficway.
What has not been visible is its six-level interior atrium. Safdie’s “tornado” design slightly shifted the curves of each interior office balcony to create the illusion of motion, energizing the soaring space.
Over the next few months, if all goes as planned, that atrium — and the rest of the building — will be dismantled and replaced by a more conventional office building designed by 360 Architecture for the Polsinelli Shughart law firm.
Seven years ago, Bernstein searched for an architect to design what was to be the headquarters of the Bernstein-Rein advertising agency. Top designers, including Zaha Hadid and I.M. Pei, were considered before Bernstein chose Safdie and his “hillside village” concept.
In December 2004, a beaming Bernstein joined Safdie in unveiling the model. A year later, construction started. But by early 2007, Bernstein and the builder, J.E. Dunn Construction Co., were embroiled in a dispute over rising costs.
“I tried to be an intermediary,” Safdie said. “I called them individually and tried to have a meeting of the three of us, but it never worked.”

Keep on reading:

Viñoly´s Art Center. From

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