Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The World According to Scarano

Brooklyn's most well known architect, Robert Scarano, finally has his say on a wide range of topics in an interview that's part of an excellent story in the November issue of the Real Deal. It's fascinating to see the gentleman who has embraced some controversial building techniques and put up some buildings about which people have strong opinions, and who has been targeted by both the press and some local officials in a way that his peers have not, quoted at length.

First, the snark. We were astounded to find that Mr. Scarano refers to the Finger Building in Williamsburg as, well, the Finger Building. Now, everything else. It is interesting to hear Mr. Scarano speak out on issues like giving up the right to self-certify has plans and being blamed for construction mishaps at buildings he designed. Whether one likes or loathes Mr. Scarano's work, his work is everywhere. He has 350 active construction projects, although an astounding 20 percent of them have Stop Work Orders. Those looking for a contrite or apologetic architect won't find it in the story. In fact, he seems defiant most of the time, saying for instance that despite giving up self-certification, "we still push the envelope." He also says, in the context of talking about mezzanines--a technique that landed some of his projects in hot water, "You have to be able to take a certain level of risk; if not, you won't get ahead -- you'll be paralyzed and never really do anything." Mr. Scarano calls the case of the stalled Finger Building "a tragedy" and says that the story in about workers excavating the site on N. 7th Street in Williamsburg for The Modern drilling into a subway tunnel was untrue (which we've heard before). Mr. Scarano says that workers only drilled into a sewer line. Regardless, he says that architects can't be held accountable for everything that happens on construction sites: "The reality is, architects are hired to produce a set of plans for construction entities to build." If you follow development in Brooklyn, the Real Deal Scarano story needs to be on your reading list.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

They will get him his month will do him in!!!!!!!!!

6:18 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home