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Snøhetta's Turner Contemporary trial delayed due to complexity

The trial to settle the legal row between Norwegian architects Snøhetta and Kent County Council (KCC) over the doomed Turner Contemporary art centre in Margate has been put back until November

Originally scheduled for a five week hearing, starting next month, the high-profile case has been postponed by a judge in London’s Technology and Construction Court due to the ‘magnitude of the issues and the evidence involved’. A much longer trial is now scheduled to take place later in the year.

The local authority issued legal proceedings against this year’s Mies van der Rohe Prize-winning architects in 2008 to recover £5.8 million in ‘wasted’ design costs racked up on the failed gallery scheme.

KCC blames Snøhetta for the spiralling budget on the seafront project, up from £7,399,000 – as stated on its 2001 competition-winning entry – to at least £25 million by the time the plug was pulled in February 2006.

Last year the AJ revealed that co-designer Stephen Spence of Spence Associates had not been named on the High Court writ and had avoided being dragged into the costly legal battle alongside the Norwegian company.

Following the demise of the Snøhetta scheme, a second architectural competition was launched to design a new look gallery – a contest won by David Chipperfield.

The £17.5 million scheme started on site in November.

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