Freeborn & Anor v Marcal (t/a Dan Marcal Architects)  EWHC 454 (TCC)27th Feb 2019
Robert Clay successfully acted for the owners and occupiers of a north London home against the architect commissioned to convert the property’s Pool House into a function room and to build a home cinema.
The cinema room was supposed to be a glass box on legs with a sleek modern look. The room that was actually constructed had a “wonky industrial look”. The homeowners claimed that the architect had re-designed the cinema room without their approval and that it was impossible to rectify. They also blamed him for faults regarding works to the windows and flooring and to the swimming pool.
The judgment held that the architect had been negligent in his failure to produce a written brief or record the design changes for the cinema box.. As the cinema could not be transformed into the expected design the homeowners were entitled to recover from the architect the wasted costs of £431,000 spent on the cinema room, plus interest. Related claims related to work on the swimming pool were not held.
The case is particularly notable for being a (rare) successful claim to demolish a building because it does not meet the client’s brief.
Robert Clay was instructed by Healys LLP for the Claimants.
(27 February 2019)