It’s been a few weeks now since starchitect Santiago Calatrava announced that he would be walking away from the Denver airport’s massive South Terminal Redevelopment Program, in which he’d laid out preliminary designs for the estimated $650 million project that is set to include things like “a commuter-rail station, a public plaza that links with the existing terminal, and a 500-room Westin hotel.” When we first learned of the exit, we knew some time would have to pass before the typical pleasantries and reported words of amicable separation made way for things to get a bit more rough and tumble. And how right we were. The Denver Post‘s Eric Gorski has filed this great recap of the situation as it stands now, with questions being raised over what exactly the city received after paying $12.9 million to Calatrava for what’s described as work “still in the conceptual phase”, how the architect spent that money and how it was billed, and the item we think would be the most interesting to watch from the start: the debate over who exactly owns all the plans and ideas the architect had put together. As the Post reported upon news of Calatrava’s exit, the architect’s “initial contract for the project stipulates that the design and intellectual property rights belong solely to Calatrava and his firm.” We’re guessing this is only the start to an issue that should last some time (anyone remember how drawn out the Chicago Spire debacle was?).
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