Architect facing £300k writ in One Hyde Park wrangle
Interior fit-out completed 10 months late
An architect who promised to fit out an apartment at One Hyde Park cheaper than the £1 million quoted by a rival is being sued after the job came in 10 months late.
The rival offer had been made by One Hyde Park developer Candy & Candy but London firm Argent Design, an architecture and interiors specialist, won the deal at the luxury housing scheme after promising to carry out the work for £820,000 and finish it on December 23 last year.
But the firm is now being sued for more than £300,000 after it was fired from the job this spring following claims from its client that it had refused to carry out work from January 13 until its dismissal on April 24.
Chittagong Holdings, a property firm based in the British Virgin Islands, owns the apartment at the scheme in west London which was designed by Rogers Stirk Habour & Partners.
According to a claim filed at the Technology & Construction Court in London, the work was being carried out for Russian banker Andrey Gorbatskiy and his wife Svetlana. According to his website, Gorbatskiy is an award-winning vice president of Moscow bank Stroycredit.
Work on the interior design was supposed to start no later than September 26 and be substantially complete by December 12 ahead of full completion two days before Christmas.
But Chittagong says work didn’t actually start on site until October 6 with Argent Design eventually busting its December 23 deadline.
“By the start of 2012, the claimant had become extremely concerned about the quality and progress of the works being carried out and the furnishings and fittings being supplied by the defendant,” the claim adds.
Chittagong accuses Argent Design of not managing the project in its best interests of or carrying out the work “with reasonable skill and care”. And it says goods and materials did not match what had been promised while those that were supplied were not “of satisfactory quality or fit for purpose”.
Chittagong says it has been forced to bring in a replacement firm “at a cost of £592,000” – on top of the £547,000 already paid to Argent Design. It adds that it finally expected work to be completed on October 5.
In a statement Argent Design said: “We are vigorously contesting this claim and taking appropriate legal action to protect our reputation.”
This story was amended from its original version to include Argent Design’s statement.