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Hochtief and Hamburg settle differences over concert hall

6 Jul 12 The city of Hamburg and Hochtief have reached an agreement that will allow work to continue on the troubled Elbphilharmonie project.

The new start was made possible by the agreement of a mutual resolution of the past problems between the city of Hamburg and Hochtief.

The key points of the agreement concern the realignment of planning responsibilities, a schedule for completion, and the agreement of arbitration proceedings between the city and Hochtief.

All disputed claims that cannot be settled out of court will be subject to arbitration proceedings. A ruling will be made no later than one year after the project is completed. This has cleared the way to resolve disputed payment obligations.

Senator for cultural affairs Professor Barbara Kisseler said: “With this agreement, we have resolved one of the congenital defects of the project. Reconciliation processes will be greatly simplified in future, as the general planner and general contractor will prepare the plans together. We have succeeded in releasing the continued construction process from the disputes of the past and reaching an agreement with Hochtief on the completion of the project. We are glad that the bodies involved have been able to put forward a good result for the project’s continuation.”

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Marcelino Fernández Verdes, member of the Hochtief executive board, said: “We have found a joint solution for the critical aspects: the hall roof will be completed as quickly as possible without any compromises in terms of safety, and we will complete the planning for the building together with Herzog & de Meuron. We have also found a method for dealing with issues in dispute.”

David Koch, responsible project partner for the Elbphilharmonie project at the architect Herzog & de Meuron, welcomed the agreement. “This means that we now have the opportunity to successfully complete the Elbphilharmonie project,” he said. “The stated aim of joint planning will provide the cooperation that is necessary to ensure the continued, high-quality construction of the Elbphilharmonie without conflict.”

Hochtief will upgrade the hall roof and complete it, as well as the façade, within a year. Previous conflict concerning the hall roof has been resolved by way of the agreement on expert monitoring.

As a further key aspect of the agreement, Hochtief and the general partner Herzog & de Meuron will complete the outstanding planning and integrate it into an overall plan. This applies in particular to technical building equipment. The city will have access to and provide support for the planning processes. Hochtief and Herzog & de Meuron will complete all of the plans within a year. The building will be completed in full 24 months after the end of the planning phase.

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