Tom Lane’s article “How Viñoly’s Colchester arts facility lost its shine” (25 July, page 24), requires clarification on a number of points.
The current situation is regrettable, but it is incorrect to allude to the complexity of the design as a factor in the delay to the project, as this is simply not the case. Our approach was rational and pragmatic. There are no whimsical flourishes here – the architecture was aimed at achieving economy of expression, tightly harnessed to the programme. It is not a simple design, but neither is it “fiendishly complex”. It is essentially a curved portal shed, clad in a copper alloy using a hand-fabricated standing seam. The design is not particularly laboured nor intrinsically expensive.
Many subcontractors tendered for this work, and were clear in their ability to build the structure.
Finally, Rafael Viñoly Architects has far from “largely washed its hands of the problems”. Our practice is investing time in the project and will continue to do so. We are committed to delivering the project within the available budget.
John Drew, director, London office, Rafael Viñoly Architects