"Architect Santiago Calatrava accused
of bleeding Valencia dry" - Guardian


Dezeen Wire:
Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava has been accused of "bleeding Valencia dry" over alleged fees of €100 million for the showpiece City of the Arts and Science cultural centre in the city - The Guardian

Leftwing Spanish political party Esquerra Unida claims the architect had a deal with the conservative-led regional government to earn a percentage of construction costs for the complex, which have spiralled to a rumoured €1.1 billion.

Last month, Guardian journalist Giles Tremlett reported that Spanish ministers were blaming profligate regional administrations for Spain's budget deficit, with showpiece architectural projects singled out for criticism.

Tremlett, the paper's Madrid correspondent, seems to have a bee in his bonnet about extravagant Spanish architecture: in October he reported on the closure of the newly opened Niemeyer Centre in Avilés, designed by Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, and listed Peter Eisenman's City of Culture in Santiago de Compostela among a string of other white elephants; while back in 2009 he reported on how a slew of grandiose schemes - including projects by Frank Gehry, Jean Nouvel and Alejandro Zaera Polo - were hitting the buffers due to the credit crunch and Spain's looming economic woes.

Santiago Calatrava projects featured on Dezeen include the Liège-Guillemins station in Belgium and a bridge over the Grand Canal in Venice.

  • The fraud allegations made against Santiago Calatrava are very serious and could actually damage his reputation. Unless the Spanish architect is acquitted of these allegations, it is likely that fewer contracts are going to be coming his way.

  • Anonymous

    It is rather refreshing to see a rather interesting article on Dezeen. Perhaps there is an editor (with an opinion and sense of humour) after all!

    I would say – more of this rather than the usual critically, intellectually or insightfully void, wishy washy articles that seem to fill this blog!! Or are they a reflection of our culturally void, deceptive enlightenment period we are now living?

  • frednetick

    European procurement rules are pretty the same across Europe. I don’t know if Spanish authorities have exactly the same as French ones but we do pay a percentage of the works costs, and 9 to 10% is among the reasonable costs we do support.

    The only thing that brings it to the light is the amout of the final cost (1.1 billion).