09 January 2009

Calgary Calatrava controversy caput

It seems the fight against two footbridges in Calgary to be designed by Santiago Calatrava has drawn to a close, with the news that Calgary city council have signed a $3.3m contract for the design despite ongoing opposition. The contract was placed without any competition from other designers, and represents about 7% of the estimated $50m capital cost for the two structures. See previous posts for more detail.

The Calgary Sun notes that opponents sought the money to be spent instead on more pressing projects in a time of recession. At least one local architect is reported (quite reasonably) as being unhappy about not having the opportunity to bid for the work.

A local columnist suggests writing to Calatrava asking him to turn down the project. A local councillor has apparently tried precisely that, saying: "Since this city council can't read the current state of affairs in Alberta I hope he can do us a favour and kindly say thanks but no thanks to this stupid offer".


Anonymous said...

Apparently Calatrava has withdrawn from a very strong list of competitors for the new Middle Rhine crossing near Koblenz. The teams include Menn, Schlaich Bergermann, Ingenhoven and Leonhardt Andre as well as international consultants such as Arup, Buro Happold, Feichtinger and Wilkinson Eyre. Maybe he can't stand the heat of competition any more...?

The Happy Pontist said...

Is this the same site that UNESCO and ICOMOS have shown great interest in? And is there any information available online about the competition?

The Happy Pontist said...

Some further follow-up on this story: Iconic pedestrian bridge or white elephant? and Bridge leaves credibility gap. The latter story interviews Calatrava associate Spiro Pollalis to try and work out exactly how much personal input Calgary could expect from the designer.