Architects are such babies. Take Frank Gehry, the overrated star-architect of the New World Symphony in Miami Beach. The Herald  reports that he is very upset about how ‘rude’ the city leaders have been because they don’t want to pay his inflated fee.

To Gehry, the real issue is not his $1.9 million fee, which he said is appropriate for the project’s scope — it’s the city’s $10 million construction budget for the public park, which he said is too small given Miami Beach’s and the symphony’s elaborate goals for the space.

Hmmm…..$1.9 million for a $10 million dollar project….sounds like a 19% architectural fee. I wonder what other services Mr. Gehry will be performing for almost 20%? Sounds like the real issue isn’t the budget, but the fact that Gehry wants a larger fee. Then there is this:

Instead of hiring another architect for the park, Gehry suggested having the parks department install grass, landscaping, sprinklers, and drainage, and talk to the symphony about its ideas for the space. Then he will review it.

“We won’t charge a dime. We’ll do it as a friend to the city. Pay us zero.”

Sounds good to me. Why waste tons of money on expensive lights and fountains – park space doesn’t need to be that complicated.  If the urbanism around the park works then there should not be a need to fill the park with silly things to activate it. The city can improve the park over time, and not waste so much money on architects who say things like:

Doing a parking garage in Miami is not something I should be spending time on. I did it out of respect for [Tilson Thomas].

Dude, we don’t need you to do us any favors. Thanks.

6 Responses to Star-architect has hurt feelings….awwww

  1. Mike Lydon says:

    haha, glad you covered this one…I read it this morning and was happy that Viglucci was able to convey the issues clearly. This is in stark opposition to the previous Herald article covering this issue, which was nearly unintelligible.

    I really hope Gehry takes his hands off the park project. You hit the nail on the head in that parks don’t need to be overly elaborate to function. If anything, too much design leads to their eventual demise, as cities rarely have the money for the upkeep required.

    Later this week, I will be reviewing the recently opened South Pointe Park.


  2. Tony Garcia says:

    I was really pissed about the fee. I mean, that’s a huge fee. Who charges 20%??? Really….
    Not to place all the blame on Gehry either, because if it’s true that the city has spent $4.6 million on architectural fees for a park whose construction budget is only $10 million, then they are just using Gehry as a scapegoat.

    I’m curious to read what you think about South Pointe – haven’t been there yet, but have heard a lot about it in the blogosphere….


  3. Anonymous says:

    Wow, most cities don’t pay designers more than 10%, the city is paying 10% extra for the name. How foolish.


  4. Andy says:

    I think the city is really to blame here. Regardless of what you think about Gehry, seems like the city wanted his name and now it’s trying to skim on other costs.


  5. [...] of course this has ruffled the feathers of many locals like Tony Garcia from Transit Miami who said in an article today (who by the way, I highly respect): Architects are such [...]


  6. Kathryn says:



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