Philip Johnson sues Costas Kondylis

By Adam Pincus | May 13, 2009 06:04PM

High-powered architecture firm Philip Johnson/Alan Ritchie Architects sued its long-time collaborator Costas Kondylis and Partners for $163,855 in unpaid architectural fees and other expenses, according to court papers.

Philip Johnson/Alan Ritchie said that Costas Kondylis had paid just over half of what it owed for work performed between November 2007 and December 2008 on six projects in New York state and two in Europe, the complaint filed May 5 in Manhattan State Supreme Court says.

Philip Johnson/Alan Ritchie, led by managing principal Alan Ritchie, accused Kondylis’ company of breach of contract and asked the judge for the balance owed totaling $163,855 plus interest, the complaint said. Only the firms were included in the suit.

The projects named in the complaint that Ritchie’s firm was not paid for include a new building for the intersection of Broadway and 30th Street; 650 Madison; and 470 Vanderbilt Street in Brooklyn.

John Osborn, attorney for Ritchie’s firm, said the lawsuit was not a personal attack, and the two men remain friends. It was instead a legal claim to the unpaid balance, which was needed because architectural firms are experiencing cash-flow problems because of the sharp decline in construction.

“The culprit is not Mr. Kondylis, it is the economy. This is not an aggressive action. [Ritchie] is preserving his rights and making sure he gets paid,” Osborn said.

Costas Kondylis’ firm did not respond to a request for comment.

The two firms have collaborated since the mid-1990s, on such projects as the Trump International Hotel & Tower, which was converted from an office building in 1997.

Philip Johnson/Alan Ritchie has independently designed projects such as the Urban Glass House at 330 Spring Street in Hudson Square while Kondylis has designed buildings such as the Atelier condo at 627 West 42nd Street.