The split follows a two-and-a-half-year-long saga which has seen Roger’s original competition-winning plans to expand the existing 1986 IM Pei building (AJ online 28.09.05) significantly scaled-back.
According to local sources, the Jacob K Javits Development Corporation board feared incurring a further $20 million (£10 million) in architectural fees for what is now being described as a much smaller renovation and ‘modest extension’ project.
The board had already aired its concerns over an estimated $41 million (£20 million) in fees (spread across 25 different consultants), racked up on the initial, aborted scheme which would have created 130,000m2 of additional exhibition space as part of a $1.4 billion (£700 million) overhaul.
That plan was ditched earlier this year amid growing uncertainty about land around the centre earmarked for the scheme.
However it is understood RSHP’s US collaborators on the project, FXFowle, will be retained by the scheme’s backer, the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC).
ESDC spokesman Warner Johnstone said: ‘RSHP – in full agreement with the ESDC and its joint venture partners – believes that the present objectives are best served by the client working with a local team and has withdrawn from its role as lead designer.’
RSHP, which landed the job in 2005, refused to comment.
One source close to the project said: ‘The designs are still being worked up from the [RSHP] plans. It’ll be a good project for New York.’