I think developers have more say than architects in making projects affordable.
He said at the same news conference, â€œI don't ask for work. I don't have a publicist. I'm not waiting for anyone to call me. I work with clients who respect the art of architecture. Therefore, please don't ask questions as stupid as that one."
I wasn't arguing the exclusivity of Gehry's contribution towards the relative unaffordability of his projects.
Itâ€™s also beneficial to think about affordability in a holistic context. Some examples:
What is the lifespan of these affordable buildings? Who will pay for major repairs down the road? Do short-term gains justify long-term pains?
How much profit does one need to make? If a developer can make a better building in exchange for reduced profits (not the same as running at a loss), should we demand it?
Can we quantify the intangible value of architecture that enhances human interaction and experience? Should it matter?
Should we always prefer something just because itâ€™s cheaper? Things are cheaper at Walmart but what about the non-monetary impacts of supporting Walmart? Should they matter? How about the non-monetary impacts of outsourcing to developing countries?
Yes. Long-term thinking is important.
Affordability doesn't have to imply poorly built and cheaply constructed real estate. This would be a slight digression into a conversation about provincial housing legislation.
A developer stepping in to build quality social housing, in tower form obviously -- or even, less radically, a developer stepping in to build a quality mixed-use residential tower with fixed prices so that a broader spectrum of consumers could afford to live in those residential units is something, in my opinion, that "respects humanity" so much more than any high-cost unnecessarily sculpted infrastructure with mostly subjective ambitions could.
But in all honesty, I do welcome Gehry's towers. I'm more excited about this development than 45 Bay.
When he flipped off that Spanish reporter, though....I was just like: Queen, please.