Less than six months after it reopened to the public to great fanfare, the $267 million, Frank Gehrydesigned renovation of the Art Gallery of Ontario has sprung a leak, the Globe and Mail reports. Or several.
According to the paper, windows in the museum's sweeping Galleria Italia have been coated with condensation, and several buckets have been placed along the grand central staircase to catch drips from above. Towels have been draped over the staircase's railings, and portable fans have been brought in to keep air flowing.
Mike Mahoney, the senior project manager for the redesign, which was touted as being designed to withstand Canada's tough winters, said that the problems were caused by a handful of faulty panels in the windows and insufficient heating and airflow in the staircases. "It's little things, and they're soluble," he said. "We know what the problem is, and we know the steps to move forward to remedy them.”
The repairs won't happen until spring, he said, but in the meantime, the building's temperature and humidity levels are appropriate, and no artworks are in danger of being damaged.
He said the problems were a typical part of a building's "settling" process.
The challenges recall another recent Gehry project, a building at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology plagued with cracks, leaks, and, eventually, mold, which resulted in a negligence lawsuit against the architect in late 2007.
Responding to that situation at the time, AGO director and CEO Matthew Teitelbaum said that he was confident that the new AGO structure would be "impermeable."