It is ironic that it should be David Chipperfield complaining about poor quality on a museum building he designed in Milan (in the Independent and picked up by the AJ). Not only because he is one of the most punctilious of architects but because he is used to working overseas.

It is ironic that it should be David Chipperfield complaining about poor quality on a museum building he designed in Milan (in the Independent  and picked up by the AJ). Not only because he is one of the most punctilious of architects but because he is used to working overseas. It is where he made his reputation and for years (decades it seemed) he complained about not being recognised in his own country.

The row is about the quality of a floor which, Chipperfield says, had transformed the building into “a museum of horrors,” and that it amounted to “a pathetic end to 15 years of work”. One might think, poor man, it is hard to control work from afar, but in fact he has an office in Milan, and the story also cites visits that he made to the quarry. 

It just goes to show that when clients are intent on cost-cutting - and we can't of course tell from here how bad the job actually is - they will ignore architects, however canny they have become at imposing their will.

In the end it is the client's building, but it is sad if they commission the best and then don't follow through.

Of course, when you are at the top of the tree, it may be a case of 'you win some, you lose some'. BD has a headline today 'Chipperfield's Zurich Kunsthaus finally approved after seven years'.

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