Once again, a huge concrete panel has dropped off Zaha Hadid's Library and Learning Center at the Vienna University of Economics and Business. No one was injured, which is especially nice, considering that 176 pounds of concrete doesn't sound like something you just walk away from. The last time this happened was in July of last year, when one student (pictured here pointing to the spot where the panel used to be) identified the group at the greatest risk here: kids taking smoke breaks.
At the time, another student told Kurier (via Google Translate) that "after I saw the plate lying on the ground, I have shaken another. It came loose before me. In the future I will refrain from the facade and be vigilant when I go to the entrance." That incident was attributed to an " "assembly error" by the building contractor. Now, the award-winning building remains open (though some sections have been cordoned off), and the Vienna university says it will soon release a study on the soundness of the facade.
Structural problems of this sort most famously plague architect Santiago Calatrava, but Frank Gehry and Richard Rogers have also had their struggles. Can we connect these incidents—something about the formal inventiveness of starchitect projects necessitating untested engineering practices—or would that be kind of a stretch? Let us know below, thereby betraying more about your feelings on the modern "hero architect" than anything else.