Álvaro Siza presents new entrance for Granada's Alhambra palace

Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza will present plans to build a new entrance and visitor centre for historic Granada palace the Alhambra at an exhibition opening later this month in Berlin.

Álvaro Siza presents new entrance for the Alhambra

The show, entitled Visions of the Alhambra, will illustrate the competition-winning plans created by Siza and Spanish architect Juan Domingo Santos to rationalise the entrance sequence of the 1000-year-old Moorish fortress, allowing up to 8000 daily visitors to enter without being subjected to lengthy queues.

Álvaro Siza presents new entrance for the Alhambra

The architects plan to replace the existing two-stage queue system, creating a new partially submerged entrance gate that will lead visitors through areas of light and shade towards a courtyard, before arriving at a main plaza and auditorium.

Describing the commission as "the project of our lives", Siza explained: "Each project is a challenge but this one is mythical."

Álvaro Siza presents new entrance for the Alhambra
Proposed plans - click for larger image

The exhibition is set to open at the Aedes am Pfefferberg gallery in Berlin on 22 March. It will feature original sketches and models, plus interviews and drawings documenting Siza's lifelong fascination with the ancient palace, which is named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Having first visited as a child alongside his father, Siza said he "was charmed" by the building from an early age. "I came back several times, sometimes with great experts of the Alhambra, which allowed me to soak in its history," he explained.

Álvaro Siza presents new entrance for the Alhambra
Proposed section - click for larger image

After Berlin, the exhibition will be presented at the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein between 13 June to 31 August, before moving to the Alhambra complex for a show in the spring of 2015.