Foster + Partners, a London-based firm, filed a complaint last week in relation to alleged unpaid design costs associated with the abandoned Amaravati master plan. The dispute between the two parties has now reached India’s Supreme Court. According to the UK Architects’ Journal, Foster + Partners repeatedly requested payment, but the government run Amaravati Metropolitan Region Development Authority (AMRDA) was unable to comply. The demands date back to 2019.
Foster + Partners had worked alongside AMRDA for a period of several years to develop an administrative city for the state of Andhra Pradesh that included a new legislative building, judicial facilities, and a complex of office buildings at a reported price of £500 million (600 million USD). Foster + Partners created a master plan for Amaravati, the new capital of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, winning a global competition.
Following a victory in local elections by the YSR Congress Party, which insisted on a trifurcated, now-retracted plan with various governmental functions being spread across separate sites, the effort was abandoned in 2019 (shortly before Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the unrelated national parliament redesign in Delhi). The proposal, whose cornerstone was personally laid by Modi himself two years before Foster + Partners was chosen for the project, required the displacement of more than 26,000 local farmers. The request’s response was mandated by the court to AMRDA.