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ROOF FAULT SOURS ROGERS WINERY

NEWS

The shine seems to have come off the Spanish love affair with Richard Rogers after part of the roof structure at his Protos Winery project in northern Spain gave way.

It is understood that last Wednesday (12 July), a small secondary roof prop buckled underneath one section of the scheme's parabolic vault timber roof.

The project, in Penafiel, near Valladolid, was originally scheduled for completion in February of this year.

The incident comes less than four months after Rogers' highly acclaimed Barajas airport outside Madrid opened its doors to eager passengers.

Initial speculation about the causes of the Protos accident, in which no-one was hurt, suggests that the overloading of terracotta tiles on the roof during construction could be to blame.

However, the reasons for the 'deformation' of the roof support will remain a mystery until the findings from an investigation held earlier this week are announced.

The true scale of the incident - and the time it will take to mend - are also unclear.

A spokeswoman for the Richard Rogers Partnership (RRP) was keen to play down the episode, saying the incident was not being labelled a 'collapse' by the practice.

Yet RRP director and former Arup engineer Lennart Grut admitted there had been an impact on the integrity of the roof structure.

He said: 'The incident has caused a bit of movement and for safety reasons the roof has had to be properly propped.

'The connection between the barrel roof and the arches seems to have given way.'

Grut, who has worked on Barajas and Terminal Five, was unwilling to blame RRP, the practice's locally based partners Alonso Balaguer y Arquitectos Asociados, or contractors FFC - one of the biggest construction firms in Spain.

'These things are never completely black and white, ' he added. 'While it did happen during the process of laying tiles, it could have been an erection procedure problem or a design fault.

'Whatever it is, it's no huge difficulty replacing anything that has gone.'

The new winery will process one million kilos of grapes per year and will link with an existing wine-making facility through tunnels.

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