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Web Exclusive | January 2014

Legal trouble for Architect Santigo Calatrava

Architect Santiago Calatrava is in trouble! His home city Valencia is not happy that parts of the opera house roof at the City of Arts and Sciences complex designed by him are falling off just eight years after completion. Thus they are planning to sue him and his firm for the cost of the repairs. The white concrete opera house features a feather-like roof sailing over two outer shells that curl round the sides. These are clad in a layer of ceramic mosaic tiles or "trencadis", which first showed signs of ageing a year ago when wrinkles appeared in the smooth white surface and is now coming away in chunks.

Not that such news is new to Calatrava. He had to pay €3.3 million to settle a dispute last June after a conference centre he designed in the northern Spanish city of Oviedo suffered structural collapse.

His footbridge to the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao has also caused controversy, with the city having to pay compensation to dozens of pedestrians who slipped on the glass surface in wet weather, while Calatrava is also being taken to court due to his footbridge over the Grand Canal in Venice coming in three times over budget and requiring what the city sees as excessive repairs. Not such a pretty sight, is it?

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