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Timber engineer for Gehry's Maggie's Centre goes bust

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The timber engineering firm that designed the complex roof structure of Frank Gehry's Maggie's Centre in Dundee, Scotland, has gone into administration.

Cowley Structural Timberwork - which also worked with Will Alsop on the Stirling Prizewinning Peckham Library - is currently being run by accountants Kroll.

The receivership specialist has vowed to sell the Lincoln-based company - which has also collaborated with Foster and Partners, Michael Hopkins and Partners, and Grimshaw in the past - 'as a going concern if it is at all possible'.

However, it has already made 14 members of the 50-stong staff redundant. Founding partner Gordon Cowley hopes to restart the company in the future but 'on a much smaller scale'.

The company had grown steadily since its foundation in the 1970s and won many awards.

However, late payments on two major schemes in 2003 are thought to have damaged cash flow.

Will Alsop described the company's demise as 'very bad news'. 'I've always thought of them as the kind of subcontractors that most architects would want to work with, ' he said.

Administrator Stuart MacKellar said the accountant still hopes to save the company:

'Cowley has an excellent reputation, evidenced by us having already received expressions of interest for the business, which is encouraging.'

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