Glenn Murcutt's Problem Job

Every architect has a problem job; sometimes the client fires the architect, sometimes the architect fires the client; sometimes it is like a bad marriage and client and architect are stuck together whether they like it or not. That appears to have happened to Pritzker Prize winning Australian green architect, Glenn Murcutt. After six years of working on an eco-hotel on Victoria's Great Ocean Road, he says he has never worked on a project that has sunk to such acrimony.

Never," he says. "In my practice since 1969 I have never had this sort of situation."

The contractor was no help, saying he said he was caught between a developer "who has a goal and a dream and a budget" and a celebrated architect who regarded his work as "sculptures" and "pieces of art". He continued saying "architectural trainspotters" had turned up from all over the world to look at Murcutt's latest work and "pray to the altar" of the great Australian architect.

So a great green project ends up in disarray with the Architect accusing the owner of changing the drawings, the contractor calling the architect a prima donna, and an owner complaining about supervision and mistakes in the design. What a mess. ::The Australian

Tags: Australia

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