After Architect Walks Away, Deal Reached by Santiago Calatrava and Denver Airport Over Design Plans

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By Steve Delahoyde Comment

When architect Santiago Calatrava announced that he was walking away from the project to massively redevelop Denver’s airport, and after information was slowly let out about how the collaboration fell apart, we were expecting the fight to get a bit ugly (and therefore, fun to write about) over who exactly owned the rights to Calatrava’s original plans, which the city intended to move forward on, with or without him. Instead, the whole issue has been solved fairly cleanly and quietly. The Denver Post reports that the city will pay Calatrava’s final invoices (coming in at over half a million dollars) and pay a $250,000 licensing fee to keep using his plans. Not a bad payout at all for the architect, whose firm, the paper approximates, has earned just shy of $14 million from working on the project over the past two years. However, as seemingly amicable as this official split is, the city isn’t going to walk away with everything the famous architect had originally envisioned:

Designs that the agreement deems as proprietary to Calatrava and off-limits to DIA include some white architectural elements on the upper exterior of the hotel and some Calatrava-designed columns,” [DIA manager Kim Day] said.

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