In the construction industry, architects are sometimes like the canaries in a coal mine.
Architecture firms started seeing signs of slackening demand in early 2008, and, in recent months, as the full force of the recession has hit, many of these firms have had to make deep staff cuts. Some of the biggest reductions have come at high-profile shops like Gehry Partners, which cut half its staff, and Foster + Partners, which shed 25 percent and shuttered some overseas offices.
Adding to the woes of big-name architects, many of their most ambitious projects have been shelved, scaled back or abandoned. Gehry’s billion-dollar mixed-use developments in Los Angeles and Brooklyn are in limbo...
As I wrote March 31, developer Forest City Ratner says Gehry is still the lead architect on Atlantic Yards. But Gehry's laid off his staff working on the project. So what does that mean:
- Is Gehry still working on the project? How actively?
- Will he rehire staff to work on the project?
- Have other architects taken Gehry's designs and reworked them to save money?