The Italian companies which won the design tender for Tallinn Hospital estimated the cost of their work to be €17.5 million. The competing Estonian companies estimated almost €30 million.
In the spring, Tallinn City Government hoped the design costs of its new large hospital would cost €11 million. The tender announced at the time failed because all entrants to the design competition said considerably more money would be needed.
The estimated cost of the new procurement has been doubled and the city is gradually moving towards a contract.
Seven designs were submitted and all the bids except that of Italian companies ATIproject srl and 3TI Progetti were estimated to cost between €23 and €25 million.
Speaking about the winning bid, Tallinn City Chancellor Kairi Vaher said: "It is possible the winner has a certain advantage through the existence and experience of their large international office."
He said some companies may not have had the experience and understanding of what this type of design should really cost.
Vaher said the commission had also asked the successful bidder for additional information to make sure all the requirements were taken into account.
Vaher said: "The bidder has clearly told us that they fully understood the object of the procurement, [and] they have taken these into account and their bid is indeed 17.5 million."
One of the winning Italian teams - ATIproject srl - led the design process for Odense University Hospital, the third largest city in Denmark. The hospital, with a floor area of 250,000 square meters, is expected to be completed next year.
The deadline for challenging the procurement results is next week. Tallinn then hopes to sign a contract with the winners of the tender and display the architectural concepts.
The city wants to start construction as soon as possible. The government hopes to finance the hospital with the help of the European Recovery Fund. The fund's money must be allocated by the end of 2023 and used by August 2026.
The estimated total cost of Tallinn Hospital is €520 million. Of this, planning, design and construction is €450 million and the investment in equipment will be €70 million.
Editor: Helen Wright