The Regional Government of Andalucía (Spain) has decided not to move forward with plans to build "Puerta Nueva," the project for the new gate of Alhambra. Designed by Álvaro Siza and Juan Domingo Santos, the proposal won an international competition held in 2010. According to the newspaper El País, the decision follows the latest Icomos report, which rejects its construction and suggests it would have a "negative impact on the exceptional universal value of this monument World Heritage."
The 1992 Pritzker Prize winner's project sparked a long-running dispute between the Monument Patronage, the Mayor's Office of Granada and cultural institutions of Andalusia for the high concentration of commercial services that would be included in the project. "How is it possible to argue that the project is not integrated and is invasive in the landscape when the jury noted that one of its main virtues was its integration in a place so sensitive and intervened since the twentieth century?" remarked Siza and Santos on the decision of Andalucía, according to El País.
Reacting to the decision, Siza and Santos asked, "How is it possible to argue that the project is not integrated and is invasive in the landscape when the jury noted that one of its main virtues was its integration in a place so sensitive and intervened since the twentieth century?" according to El País.
With a budget of 45 million euros, the 5,700 square meter project offered a transition zone between the arrival area and access for the 2.5 million yearly visitors to the Alhambra. Its program included a lobby, tourist attention areas, cultural information delivery, as well as shops, cafes, and restaurants. Planned submerged parking sought to eliminate the visual impact of visitors' vehicles.
The design proposed a series of enclosed spaces, shaded courtyards, and large sunny terraces. In 2014 the project was presented in Berlin at the exhibition "Visions of the Alhambra," where curator António Choupina stated that "the building merges with the landscape, articulating manuscript documents that sketch the old farmland with the elevations of the garden terraces that are in the village Generalife."
According to El País, the direction of the Alhambra will focus on "restoration of the whole and restoration of heritage in the Albaicín neighborhood."
News via: El País.