Kimmel Center Sues Architect

Officials at Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts have sued the venue’s acclaimed architect, Rafael Viñoly Architects, accusing the firm of “deficient and defective design work” and delays that boosted the project’s final cost.

The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court alleges that construction ended up costing $180 million, which was “significantly more” than the $157 million originally budgeted.

The suit does not seek a specific amount of damages, but cites a loss of $23 million.

“We determined that a significant number of the cost overruns were the result of their design delays, and we attempted for a long time to resolve the matter with mediation,” Kimmel Center President/CEO Janice Price said. “We had no other alternative than to file the suit.”

In a statement, Kimmel officials said the center attempted to settle the matter amicably, which included mediation, but had no success. As the matter has now moved into litigation, they could not comment further.

Representatives for Viñoly told Pollstar they had not seen the lawsuit and therefore couldn’t comment.

Meanwhile, Viñoly lawyer Richard Davies said that previous claims made by Kimmel execs “don’t have merit.”

“The project speaks for itself,” Davies said. “It’s a fabulous building.”

The Kimmel Center opened with a three-night celebration in December 2001 despite the fact that the building wasn’t finished and the price tag continued to rise.