Calatrava's firm, Festina Lente, sent a letter Wednesday to aviation manager Kim Day that said Calatrava's team feels the project lacks sufficient funding, has an unrealistic schedule, and is plagued by "deep divisions" between the design team, airport representatives and program managers for the project's prime contractor. The Denver Post obtained a copy of the letter through the Colorado Open Records Act.
Calatrava last year revealed his light, airy terminal design and his vision for an iconic bridge to carry a passenger train from downtown Denver to the airport. The passenger rail line is scheduled to open in 2016.
Airport officials have since said they couldn't afford the costs of implementing Calatrava's bridge design over the basic bridge that the Regional Transportation District and its rail contractor would provide but would proceed with other aspects of the architect's vision.
The airport has paid Calatrava and his firm about $12.8 million so far for design work. Officials say they plan to proceed with those designs.
Parsons Transportation is managing the terminal project for the airport. A 2009 document that established the tasks that Calatrava and his firm would perform for the airport and Parsons said Calatrava and his firm would retain exclusive ownership of the original concepts, copyright and intellectual property rights he created.
Nevertheless, Day said the airport believes it can still move forward with the vision. Festina Lente's letter expressed the need for a smooth transition as the firm withdraws from the project.
Day said a Denver-area firm, Anderson Mason Dale Architects, was recently retained as "architect-of-record" for the train station and other core elements of the redevelopment project.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)