Courtesy Gehry Partners, LLP
FRANK GEHRY WHO HAS A HIT AND MISS HISTORY WITH ME OF GETTING IT RIGHT, SCORES HUGE ABOUT HIS MORAL STANCE ON WORKERS RIGHTS ON THE CONSTRUCTION OF HIS GUGGENHEIM ABU DAHBI MUSEUM.
USING HIS FAME AND INVOLVEMENT TO COERCE THE GOVERNMENT CLIENT TDIC TO MAKE THINGS RIGHT FOR THE WORKERS.
I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN AMAZED AT HOW GEHRY GETS CLIENTS TO DO THINGS HE WANTS,
THIS TIME FOR A NOBLE CAUSE. I APPLAUD HIM FOR MAKING THIS HAPPEN.
THIS SHOWS THE ARCHITECT IS NOT THE SERVANT TO THE CLIENT, BUT AN ADVOCATE OF MORAL PROGRESS.
A WHOLE NEW WAVE OF PROGRESS FOR ARCHITECTS TO FOLLOW.
I SPOUTING, IF THE MORAL ISSUES ARE IN PLACE THERE WILL BE GOOD DEEDS DONE.
THIS IS A HEROIC EXAMPLE OF DOING IT RIGHT.
THE FOLLOWING IS A SELECTED QUOTE FROM ARCHITECTURAL RECORD ARTICLE SEPTEMBER 2014 HORTON IS THE LAWYER OF FRANK GEHRY.
Horton and Gehry have targeted five primary concerns: the prioritization of worker health and safety, the accessibility to passports and other documents typically retained by employers to prevent laborers from leaving the country, the appointment of a law-abiding and accountable general contractor, the establishment of an independent site monitor, and the abolition or reimbursement of steep recruitment fees associated with the kafala system—the worker sponsorship approach prevalent in the Gulf region.
Gehry’s lawyer says they are working in tandem with Abu Dhabi officials to generate changes, which they hope will soon become a reality. To alleviate squalid living conditions, Gehry and Horton are encouraging building additional housing. TDIC has already built a village for some construction workers, but it is not enough to house the rapid influx of migrant workers with the resumption of the Guggenheim project, set to open in 2017. To offset the steep fees charged by foreign recruiters—often more than three times a worker’s annual income—they propose that the contractor reimburse the worker to cover the cost. TDIC appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers as an outside monitor, which has issued quarterly reports for the last two years. Contracting bids were submitted in late August and TDIC is now on the cusp of hiring a general contractor, a pivotal component to fair worker treatment.
Horton acknowledges the challenges of accomplishing such goals. “It’s going to be a process that will go to the end of the project,” he said. “We are optimistic that, as an approach, this makes sense and is likely to improve the position of workers on our project.”
By engaging with these issues Horton believes the Guggenheim project has the potential to influence the treatment of workers on other sites: “This could serve as a model for doing things right.”
I SPENT TIME IN ABU DHABI DESIGNING AN ECO HOUSING RESORT, SEE BLOGS ABU DAHBI 1 2 3 . I WAS DEALING WITH THE GOVERNMENT BRANCH TITLED TDIC AS WELL, AND WAS CONCERNED ABOUT WORKERS CONDITIONS.
LEE TABLER, THE FORMER CEO OF TDIC AND FORMER STUDENT OF MINE AT SCI-ARC WAS INVOLVED IN HIRING FRANK AND COORDINATING THE PROJECT, LEE RECRUITING ME AS WELL HAS CONTINUED TO BE MY FRIEND AND HELPFUL TO ME. A GOOD GUY.
AT THE MOMENT THE DESIGN IS : ” Inspired by traditional middle-eastern covered courtyards and wind towers, used to cool structures exposed to the desert sun,” ( From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia} THESE POWERFUL VISUALLY COOLING SLANTED ELEMENTS LIGHT UP AT NIGHT AND HOLD THE SCHEME TOGETHER. THE INFILL OF HELTER SKELTER BOXES IS TYPICAL BAD BOY FRANK. BUT I SUSPECT WILL BE EMBRACED BY THE SOCIETY AND CURATOR.
LEE TABLER ON THE LEFT AND FRANK GEHRY IN THE FRONT