Star architect Calatrava hit with huge repair bill

Star architect Calatrava hit with huge repair bill
Construction of the Oviedo Conference and Exhibition Centre, designed by star Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, was beset with problems. Photo: Mikel Ortega/Flickr
Top Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava has been ordered to pay over €3 million in compensation after faults were found in the construction of the Oviedo Conference and Exhibition Centre that he designed.

A court in the Asturian captial of Oviedo has ordered the Valencian architect Calatrava to pay €3.27 million ($4.33 million) to property developer Jovellanos XXI.

Calatrava, also the designer of the landmark City of Arts and Sciences building in Valencia, and initially began the proceedings by demanding that the builder pay him €7.28 million in outstanding fees.

Jovellanos XXI, however, counterattacked by claiming the architect owed the firm €25 million after Calatrava altered building plans during the projects.

The presiding judge then decided in favour of Jovellanos XXI but set those damages at  the lower figure of €10.55 million.

This lower sum related to the nearly nearly €7 million that the developer had to spend to make the roof of the building movable. The remainder of the money covered the builder for costs it incurred when part of the building collapsed in spectacular fashion in 2006.

In his sentence, judge Pablo Martínez-Hombre said Calatrava was not responsible for the huge budget blow out during the project as it was not an architect's role to control costs.

As the builder already owed Calatrava €7.28 million, the architect will now have to foot a €3.27 million-bill, or the difference between the two sums.

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