Monday, November 21, 2005

is habitat 825 harming the schindler house?

I feel bad for poor lorcan o'herlihy. no sooner did he get a kickass commission in the heart of west hollywood than he faced opposition from the mak center, who mounted a competition for architects to submit proposals for the building to be erected next door. all moot, of course, since the mak center has no jurisdiction over the adjacent lot. so a talented architect, heavily influenced by the ideas of schindler (and neutra and their contemporaries) was attacked by those appointed to protect schindler's legacy. cruel, cruel irony.

so I don't want to besmirch his work - and in fact, his design is extremely sensitive to the schindler house. the north side of the development should even be outside of the sightline of the bamboo on schindler's south side.

but this is the internet, and I would be remiss as a blogger if I didn't add more rumor and conjecture to the (non)controversy. I've been a docent at the schindler house for about a year and a half now, and have watched as the grounds have been repeatedly restored after an event or de-installation, as the roofers were called in last winter to repair leaks, as the rain saturated the concrete floor and water started to rise..from below. (the strange after-effect has been the "ghosts" of linoleum where you can clearly see the tiles pauline schindler had installed to piss off her ex-husband).

the point is, I'm fairly sensitive to minor changes in the house. and its a little disturbing to see a crack in the foundation - one that has always been somewhat substantial, I'll admit - near the schindler's side entryway, grow significantly more pronounced since construction began next door. and I'm not the only one who has noticed - john pointed it out to me as well. he mentioned it to bob sweeney, who runs FOSH, who has also noticed it. apparently, the construction next door may be impacting the foundation of the schindler house. we're not at a critical point yet, but let's hope the impact from lorcan's apt building is as minimal as possible to a house that's already fragile and requires expensive upkeep to maintain (ah, the ironies of modernism!).


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