¨Spain's latest architectural extravagance was finally opened to the public today amid complaints that the massive new City of Culture in Santiago de Compostela is a huge and expensive white elephant.
American architect Peter Eisenman describes his €400m (£332m) hilltop complex overlooking one of Spain's most picturesque and historic cities as something that is meant to appear as though it has "erupted and heaved up" from the ground.
But others see the complex of six buildings in Galicia as a monument to the vanity of the region's former rightwing premier, Manuel Fraga, and an anachronism at a time of austerity. The project, still only half-built, has already cost four times more than originally planned.(...)
City of Culture. A design by Peter Eisenman´s studio. Photo by Inigo Bujedo
A 3D massive model of the City of Culture. Image from pinklenses.com
Aerial view of City of Culture. From archinect.com
Eisenman said the project could only be compared in scale to the Getty Centre in Los Angeles. "And that took 15 years to complete," he told the Faro de Vigo newspaper. "The size of the project has been increased several times over the past 10 years, so it is not surprising that the costs have increased.(...)Critics complain that the whole project reflects a state of mind that saw signature cultural buildings such as Bilbao's Guggenheim Museum rise in cities across the country during an economic bonanza. Such buildings, they say, are now inappropriate in a country with 20% unemployment and a 9% budget deficit.¨
Excerpts from Spain's extravagant City of Culture opens amid criticism- Article by Giles Tremlett
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