Just what is it that architects do?
The jury that selected Zaha Hadid\’s groundbreaking but now hugely over-budget plan for the London Olympics aquatics centre raised worries about its cost and design before it was chosen as "the jewel in the crown" of the 2012 site.
The panel warned the building would have a timber ceiling prone to maintenance problems, and that details were so sketchy there could be unforeseen costs involved in converting it after the games. Nevertheless, officials picked her "seductive" design over five other options.
They cited "maintenance concern over [the] timber ceiling in an aggressive pool hall environment". This element of the design is now being rethought because of fears it may warp in the moist conditions. The Olympic Delivery Authority said it was testing different woods over the next six to 12 months and was "determined to keep within" the budget.
But by April this year the cost had risen from the original budget of £73m at 2004 prices to £242m, with an additional £61m for a footbridge that will form part of the building\’s roof.
Aren\’t they, umm, supposed to be the experts? The one\’s who tell you what will actually work? You know, this material does, this doesn\’t, yes, you have to use concrete for the supporting pillars, no, tofu doesn\’t cut it?
And after the design work, aren\’t they supposed to be the managers of the project? The ones who make sure it comes in on time and on budget?
On which basis Zaha Hadid would seem to be a breathtakingly incompetent architect, don\’t you think?
Update: You might find this interesting.