Several months ago I wrote about the shoddy and defective work on the Museum of Liverpool when a ceiling fell in, injuring workmen, the local papers did not print the story.
THE architects involved in the construction of Liverpool's new £72m Museum have been accused of making a series of errors as part of a £3.5m High Court claim.
http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/liverpool-news/regional-news/2011/11/05/museum-of-liverpool-architects-accused-of-series-of-errors-in-3-5m-high-court-claim-100252-29725784/ Alan Weston writes;
The court documents, now lodged in London’s High Court, accuse architects and lead consultants AEW of negligence, breach of contract, and shoddy workmanship which was both “defective and dangerous”.
It is also alleged the architects made changes without consultation – and, in some cases, planning permission – during the construction of the flagship waterfront building.
Problems with the design culminated in a large number of panels in one of the gallery ceilings falling and injuring a workman on May 25 this year – just two months before the museum opened to the public.
The claim by National Museum Liverpool states that a “material cause of the collapse was the defective design of the ceiling ... upon investigating that collapse, NML identified the said unconventional and defective support system used for those ceilings.”
NML said the poor quality of the workmanship meant that 2,000 sq m of public space had been affected, including two major galleries and significant parts of the ground floor.
It adds: “The net result is that notwithstanding the fact that over 750,000 people (including 100,000 schoolchildren) will visit the Museum over the next 12 months, it is unable to offer anything like the experience it should and would be able to had the collapse not occurred.”
NML is making the multi-million pound claim to recover its costs in correcting the defects which came to light. No date has yet been set for the hearing.
Manchester-based architects AEW took over the design of the new Museum of Liverpool after previous architects – Dutch firm 3XN – were sacked by the museum operator. This is now the subject of a separate legal action by NML.
As previously reported, the museum operator was also unhappy with the quality of the work carried out on the outdoor steps of the new building at the Pier Head. NML argued that the design for the steps and terraces was “unworkable/unbuildable”, and that work was undertaken without the organisation’s consent or not to its liking.
In particular, a plinth – designed to correct a previous mistake in the design – “did not have planning permission and is inappropriate and unacceptable in terms of safety, utility and aesthetics”.
The steps were also inadequately water resistant, leaving the plant and artefact storage rooms vulnerable to water damage. For this reason, the steps and terraces are still closed to the public while remedial work is carried out.
NML chairman Phil Redmond said: “It’s really unfortunate the only mechanisms open to us to resolve these issues is by going through the legal process.
“We have an obligation to protect the public purse and this is only the mechanism we can go to in the end.”
The board and trustees of NML have already been forced to pay back £500,000 to AEW in withheld fees.
AEW said it was unable to comment because of a “confidentiality agreement”.
A spokesman for National Museums Liverpool said: “We can confirm we have issued legal proceedings against AEW and 3XN and therefore can make no further comment at this stage.”
The Museum of Liverpool, which opened its doors to the public in July, is the first national museum to be built in more than a century. Despite its problems, the museum has received 500,000 visitors in just three months. The second phase of work at the landmark building, which includes the Overhead Railway, will be officially unveiled on December 2nd.
So at the new unveiling date.........mind your heads.
Can we also get a ceiling on the spiraling costs never mind the spiral staircase.
Dispatches from Dystopia - You do insist on sending us news about our former domicile. But where else would you go for solace from the dark foreboding place we know as the Wirral pen...