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Echoes of Diana Memorial Fountain as Gustafson Porter's Old Market Square runs into trouble

Gustafson Porter Architects' second project in the UK has been hit by technical problems, echoing the firm's high-profile Diana Memorial fiasco two years ago.

The London-based practice's Old Market Square project in Nottingham - completed in March this year - has been subject to a series of technical hitches to the square's water features.

The Old Market Square problems have all the hallmarks of the difficulties with the firm's Diana Memorial Fountain in Hyde Park, which was shut down almost immediately after opening as visitors were slipping and injuring themselves.

It is unclear where the blame lies, but the repairs list includes a leak behind some of the stone cladding and a broken water jet, causing the fountains to be remain switched off as recently as yesterday (31 July).

One source from the Nottingham Civic Trust said: 'There was a leak behind the stone cladding part of the reflective pool and waterfall at the western end of the Market Square back in June. The repairs involved lifting the granite slabs with a crane and the square had to be fenced off.'

However, the water features had to be switched off again on Friday evening due to an electrical problem, and were only turned back on yesterday.

Gustafson Porter is still unsure what the actual problem is, but it is understood that several of the inverters that supply electricity to the fountains are not working.

A water-feature specialist was called to the scene to resolve the problem yesterday, and it is hoped the underlying problems will be fixed by the end of the week.

by Richard Vaughan

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