University of South Florida (USA)

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Ambitious plan to build a campus for the Polytechnic University of South Florida. Problem: there was only enough money to complete one building…

Changes were made and Calatrava´s share reduced to one central building that is on schedule and set to open this year without any cost overrun.

The following are crude notes and links I have gathered during my research. The information may be in various languages and is being updated during the research process until a full article is written. 

http://www.theledger.com/article/20130926/NEWS/130929391?p=1&tc=pg&tc=ar

The $100 million project here, however, has gone smoothly, according to those involved in it.

“We’ve had only a positive experience with Santiago,” said contractor Pete Karamitsanis, president of Lighthouse Advisors Inc. “We haven’t had any cost overruns, and our project is on schedule.”

 

http://www.tampabay.com/things-to-do/visualarts/soaring-calatrava-design-will-be-centerpiece-of-florida-poly/2170626

The first thing he said when we met on the construction site was, “This project is both buildable and affordable and shows that a building like this can be done without controversy. We’re on time and on budget.”

That means that the building will be mostly finished in June, faculty will move in July and students arrive in August for the university’s first term.

 

http://www.theledger.com/article/20111215/NEWS/111219509

Calatrava´s wife has written an angry letter to a politician who´s critical about the choice for Calatrava who is too expensive an artist:

“He’s been over budget on every project he’s ever done,” Temple said. “I don’t see where he’s even done a college campus.”

In her letter Miss Calatrava listed the campuses her husband has designed and planned according to her: Maastricht University in Maastricht, Holland (in reality this was abandoned because too much over budget); Universita degli Studi di Roma — Tor Vergata, in Rome (campus unsure but sports project abandoned); Yuan Ze University in Taoyuan, Taiwan (only planned); and Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias in Valencia, Spain (waaaaay over budget and not exactly a campus).

Strangely enough no journalists have caught on to the dubious claims made by the architects wife; her examples seem to prove the exact point her opponent Temple is making.

“It is simply not true that every building we have ever designed is over budget,” Calatrava said. And, she said, he was not dismissed from the Denver International Airport project. “We are not responsible for establishing the budget for either the USF Polytechnic campus nor the Science and Technology building,” Calatrava said. “Those budgets were established by the university. We are, however, responsible for, and contractually required to design to the established budget, which we are doing.”

http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/architect-santiago-calatrava-plans-a-profound-campus-at-usf-polytechnic/1194552

“We intend to build a masterpiece by the greatest architect of this century,” he gushed.

But big visions don’t come cheap. Fees for Calatrava’s firm, which has designed stadiums, bridges and rail stations worldwide, is $7.44 million. The YouTube video alone cost USF $140,000.

The design of Calatrava’s signature structure at USF Poly, the Science and Technology building, is still being tweaked. It won’t be unveiled to the public until late this year, perhaps during a November fundraiser on the site.

But it is already 36 percent bigger than originally planned. And while school officials say the cost will be less than comparable facilities on other campuses, statewide data suggest otherwise.

In all, USF Poly officials estimate it will take $90 million to $100 million to build the initial structure and prepare the site for future construction. And already there’s a budget shortfall, the head of construction acknowledged last week.

There is enough money for the first building, but not enough to complete the campus infrastructure, as had been hoped.

http://www10.aeccafe.com/blogs/arch-showcase/2012/05/09/florida-polytechnics-new-campus-by-santiago-calatrava/

The designed building´s roof can open and close. Similar ideas have been Calatrava desasters before: Agora (Valencia) wings are wasting away on a near wasteland, never placed on the unfinished, leaking building. WTC transport hub (New York): moving parts were removed from design because of the cost (and uselessness). Obelisc (Madrid), moving spire that is never set into motion because of the enormous maintenance costs.

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Open

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Closed

In theory its a brilliant idea to have a roof that opens to the sky like a … (fill in your favourite symbolism on the dots, everything goes). It´s just a pity that in theory practice and theory are the same but in practice they are not…

Trinity Bridges – Dallas (USA)

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Three bridges across the Trinity River designed by Calatrava in Dallas (USA).

Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge (opened 2012)

Margaret McDermott Bridge (2014 now rescheduled to 2017)

No data on third bridge

The following are crude notes and links I have gathered during my research. The information may be in various languages and is being updated during the research process until a full article is written. 

COST OF I-30 CALATRAVA BRIDGES BROKEN DOWN:

$798 million – Total cost of the Horseshoe project to reconstruct the Interstate 30 and Interstate 35 bridges over the Trinity River, including the Santiago Calatrava-designed bicycle and pedestrian bridges alongside I-30.

$114.9 million – Cost of the Santiago Calatrava-designed bicycle and pedestrian bridges ($102.9 million) and frontage roads ($12 million).

$74 million – Original planned cost for construction of Calatrava bridges.

$91.3 million – Federal funds available to cover cost of Calatrava bridges and frontage roads.

$11.6 million – Regional Transportation Council Funds for Calatrava Bridges and frontage roads

$12 million – Funding gap expected to be covered through $5 million Trinity Trust Foundation gift, money from city’s public arts fund and through cost-cutting

Issue: the state of Texas wants the three bridges for their functionality and to replace old decaying roads. The city of Dallas has its mind set on signature bridges to give this part of the town a different look. The city however does not have the money for this.

The Margaret McDermott Bridge, the second signature bridge, was originally scheduled to begin construction in 2011 with a completion date of 2014. However, as of December 2011, this bridge is now funded within the Project Pegasus initiative with construction contracts to be awarded in mid-2012; the new plan will feature ‘toned-down’ elements of its original arch design. Calatrava is still scheduled to perform design work.

http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Dallas-Still-Short-on-Money-for-New-I-30-Trinity-River-Bridge-187817841.html

city of dallas to decide on mcdermott bridge: does it want the 114 million version of a 74 million version that is less fancy but has the same functionality. the original plan by calatrava was even more expensive, including motorized traffic as well as pedestrians and cyclists. the current plan has been reduced to only pedestrians and cyclists.

The current $114 million I-30 plan was reduced to just hike and bike bridges along side a standard state roadway because the original Calatrava design was far more than the city could afford.

Griggs said the scaled down plan is still around $40 million more than it was to have been.

The cost overruns this early in the process are outrageous. These bridges can be very expensive when they’re designed by Santiago Calatrava and we don’t want these to be blank check,” Griggs said.

the city council decided to go through with the 144 million usd version of the project:

http://www.nbcdfw.com/traffic/stories/Second-Signature-Bridge-for-Dallas-Gets-Green-Light-188136101.html

The rest of the City Council voted in favor of a plan to close the $12 million gap by accepting a $5 million contribution from the Trinity Trust, transferring several million from other city bond funds and seeking “value engineering” savings from Calatrava and the contractor.

– the city council in its decision actually counts on calatrava to reduce costs. That would be a first in Calatrava history

http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/unfairpark/2011/04/sorry_dallas_news_but_i_cant_s.php

http://cityhallblog.dallasnews.com/2013/01/dallas-council-approves-funding-for-second-calatrava-bridgeamid-concerns-about-cost-over-runs-and-maintenance-price.html/

http://www.dallasnews.com/entertainment/columnists/scott-cantrell/20130120-cantrell-dallas-superficiality-reigns-again-because-of-another-bridge.ece

http://texas.construction.com/features/archive/0709_feature2.asp

http://www.pegasusnews.com/news/2011/jun/22/calatrava-bridge-dallas-looks-knockoff/

Bridges look identical to Reggio Emilia bridges in Italy

http://thehiddenlist.com/tag/margaret-hunt-hill-bridge/

http://forum.dallasmetropolis.com/showthread.php/30881-Trinity-Bridges?s=33e49c35024f84fcdcf6ba2dd739ace1

Recinto Ferial – Tenerife (ESP)

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Year: 1995

Cost: 15 million € over budget

The following are crude notes and links I have gathered during my research. The information may be in various languages and is being updated during the research process until a full article is written. 

http://www.eldia.es/2001-06-02/tenerife/tenerife21.htm

SÁBADO, 02 DE JUNIO DE 2001

 

Calatrava se desmarca de cualquier responsabilidad en las grietas del recinto

SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE (REDACCIÓN). El arquitecto e ingeniero Santiago Calatrava, diseñador del recinto ferial de la capital tinerfeña, aseguró ayer que no ha intervenido directamente en el proceso constructivo del edificio, por lo que no puede pronunciarse sobre «el origen, alcance y consecuencias de las deficiencias detectadas».

Calatrava remitió ayer un comunicado a los medios de comunicación en el que elude sus eventual responsabilidad en la aparición de grietas y fisuras en la sala multiusos del recinto, si bien asegura estar en contacto «tanto con la empresa constructora como con el Cabildo Insular de Tenerife y los ingenieros de Martínez Segovia, a los que he ofrecido mi asesoramiento para colaborar en la solución».

En su comunicado, el arquitecto indica que en 1992 la empresa Cubierta y Mzov., SA contactó con su oficina para colaborar en el concurso de proyecto y obra de la recinto ferial de muestras de Tenerife y que dicha colaboración quedó formalizada en un contrato en el que se estipuló que su prestación de servicios «se ceñía única y exclusivamente al diseño arquitectónico (anteproyecto)».

Una vez que el Cabildo otorgó el primer premio a la propuesta presentada, continúa Calatrava, la empresa constructora contrató los servicios de ingeniería de la empresa Martínez Segovia, Fernández Pallás y Asociados SA para llevar a cabo los cálculos de estructura de hormigón y metálicas. Asimismo, se contrató a la empresa IGS para el desarrollo de las instalaciones, mientras que su despacho desarrollaba los planos de diseño arquitectónico.

En el escrito, Calatrava recuerda que una vez obtenida la aprobación por parte del Cabildo, la dirección de obra se llevó a cabo por los servicios técnicos de la propia Corporación, «siendo el director de la obra el arquitecto Joaquín Amigó y el aparejadore Manzano». Añade, asimismo, que durante la fase de ejecución de la obra, el alcance del trabajo a realizar por su parte era la «asistencia en obra»

http://www.islandconnections.eu/1000003/1000009/0/39376/tenerife-article.html

The news (Venice) has prompted one local party here to urge Santa Cruz and the Tenerife Cabildo to follow suit and take action against the architect for the bills for the city’s Recinto Ferial exhibition centre and the nearby Auditorium concert hall. According to the ANC party, the cost overruns on each (€15 million for the former and nearly 50 million for the latter) should be recovered from Calatrava, using the Venice action as legal precedent.

Tor Vergata – Rome (IT)

IMG_5048

(Image courtesy of http://www.romethesecondtime.com )

Project for new venues to host the 2009 World Championships swimming. The project was abandoned before completion. The half finished buildings that cost Italy 250 million € lay abandoned in the fields outside Rome.

Budget: 320 million €

Cost at moment of abandon: 250 million €

The following are crude notes and links I have gathered during my research. The information may be in various languages and is being updated during the research process until a full article is written. 

8tor_vergata tor vergata

http://romethesecondtime.blogspot.com.es/2012/06/santiago-calatravas-unfinished-swimming.html

http://www.arcspace.com/features/santiago-calatrava/tor-vergata-university-roma-ii/

Opera – Luzern (CH)

pavilhc3a3o-flutuante-sobre-o-lago-lucerna-1989

Plan for a “floating” opera in Lake Luzern (CH). The above is one of the original drawings by Calatrava dated 1989 of the project that was presented for competition but did not win.

Calatrava presented the exact same project in 2007 as a floating opera for Palma de Mallorca (ESP) for which he received 1,2 million € of public money. Again the project was not carried out.

The following are crude notes and links I have gathered during my research. The information may be in various languages and is being updated during the research process until a full article is written. 

project that was never built and was presented years later by Calatrava as a project for the opera de palma that Calatrava received a lot of money for even though it was never built.

project uit 1989 ter ere van 700 jarig bestaan van zwitserland. Project is nooit gebouwd en werd door calatrava opnieuw gebruikt voor de palma arena, die er ook nooit kwam.

http://www.diariodemallorca.es/mallorca/2010/06/10/juez-investiga-calatrava-entrego-govern-proyecto-opera-original/577655.html

La revista “El Croquis” publicó en 1992 un número monográfico sobre Calatrava, donde aparecía una amplia información respecto al concurso para construir un edificio emblemático en el lago suizo de Lucerna. El juez del caso Palma Arena quiere acceder a esa publicación, que forma parte de un fondo bibliográfico, para poder comparar ambos proyectos.

http://peganarquitetura.com/2012/08/01/croqui-santiago-calatrava-desenhos-esculturais/

Estacion Alameda – Valencia (ESP)

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Budget for bridge and metro station: 12,6 million €

Real cost: 36 million €

The following are crude notes and links I have gathered during my research. The information may be in various languages and is being updated during the research process until a full article is written. 

http://www.20minutos.es/noticia/303730/0/parchean/obras/calatrava/

lekt

Bodega Ysios – Laguardia (ESP)

bodega Ysios

The prestigious Calatrava-designed bodega leaks, making indoor climate control impossible which may have devastating effects on the stored wines. The owners have taken Calatrava to court claiming 2 million € in necessary repairs.

The following are crude notes and links I have gathered during my research. The information may be in various languages and is being updated during the research process until a full article is written. 

http://www.eitb.com/es/noticias/sociedad/detalle/1314896/ysios-demanda-calatrava–la-bodega-ysios-demanda-calatrava/l/

http://ccaa.elpais.com/ccaa/2013/04/15/paisvasco/1366052792_259322.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQREYuP8mos

april 2013

La bodega Ysios, diseñada por el arquitecto valenciano Santiago Calatrava, situada al norte de Laguardia, Araba, tiene goteras y humedades desde hace años. La cubierta metálica está generando numerosos problemas de filtraciones debido, posiblemente, a problemas derivados de un insuficiente anclaje a la estructura.

Los “arreglos” no han podido acabar con las goteras y humedades, pero, según han asegurado los responsables de la bodega, “la calidad del producto no se ve afectada gracias a las eficaces medidas que se toman en bodega para controlar en todo momento la temperatura y humedad óptimas para la elaboración del vino”

La empresa ha demandado en el juzgado número cuatro de primera instancia e instrucción de Vitoria-Gasteiz a Santiago Calatrava, como proyectista, pero también como director facultativo de la obra así como a la empresa que la ejecutó, Ferrovial, SA.

La bodega pide dos millones de euros para reparar la cubierta, que consiste en colocar una nueva sobre la actual, después de acondicionar la estructura.

La cubierta metálica que dibuja rectángulos en el cielo pero que, al parecer, no soporta demasiado bien las tensiones de los cambios de temperatura que hay en la Rioja Alta, está generando numerosos problemas de filtraciones debido, posiblemente, a problemas derivados de un insuficiente anclaje a la estructura.

Los numerosos parches que se han realizado en coordinación con el arquitecto, los problemas no sólo no se han solucionado, sino que, según un informe técnico pericial pedido por la propiedad y aportado a la demanda, han acabado por agravar los problemas de estructura del tejado.

El resultado es que sigue habiendo goteras y humedades cuando que complican la habitabilidad y no ofrecen una atmósfera estable y controlada para la producción de vinos.

 

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/apr/17/architect-santiago-calatrava-leaking-roof

Now Domecq, the owner of the winery, has said it is fed up with the botched attempts of Calatrava’s original builders at fixing the roof and wants money from them so that it can bring in fresh architects and engineers to design a new one.

Calatrava Towers – Valencia (Spain)

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The over-ambitious plan by Calatrava to place 3 skyscrapers next to Valencia´s Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias (CAC), The skyscrapers were never built but Calatrava received a handsome amount of public funding for a couple of paper models.

Esteemed cost of the complete project: 450 million €

Real cost: 15 million €

The Plan

In November 2004 Santiago Calatrava, accompanied by the president of the region Valencia Francisco Camps and by Valencian mayoress Rita Barberá, presented the plan of erecting 4 brand new sky-scrapers next to the Valencian Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias (CAC). The general impression was that by selling the four new Calatrava towers, the city of Valencia hoped to gain a little cash to cover the losses incurred by the building of the CAC whose Calatrava designed buildings amounted to a total cost of 1.300 million €, surpassing the original budget of 300 million by a billion Euros. What better way to fix the cashflow of one Calatrava project than by taking on another?

1320778748_549626_1320778879_noticia_grande

Calatrava presents  the second version (3 towers) of his multi-million paper models in company of mayoress Rita Barberá (left) and president Francisco Camps (right).

Soon after the project´s presentation its four towers were changed into three higher ones:

  • The Torre Alicante: 58 stories and 220 meters high
  • The Torre Castellón: 70 stories and 266 meters high
  • The Torre Valencia: 80 stories and with 308 meters the highest in Spain

The first two towers would house offices and a hotel while the latter would contain expensive appartment blocks, not unlike Calatrava´s Turning Torso tower in Malmö, Sweden, that seems to turns around its axes in a similar way the three Spanish towers would.

Two versions

The project started off with 4 towers soon to change into one of 3 higher towers. The 4-tower version was first presented in 2004  in company of mayoress Rita Barberá and president Francisco Camps, the 3-tower version was presented in February 2005 with the same people present. Many internet sources seem to have forgotten these first stages of this project, often accompanying the initial 4-tower event with a picture from the 3-tower one. The photos show that various models have been built. At least some-one on the Calatrava team had to work hard for the money…

Four towers

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Close-up of the original 4-tower project

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The four towers in harmony with next door Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias

2011-11-17_IMG_2011-11-10_01.35.37__JAL013LO001_232903.jpg

Joking among friends

Three towers

2011-11-16_IMG_2011-11-09_01.35.35__XAL009LO001_213923.jpg

Three towers on a small scale

calatrava2--253x190

“You push a button and they grow!”

PRESENTACION DE LAS NUEVAS MAQUETAS DE LAS TORRES DE CALATRAVA

Same large scale towers, different venue

Impossible

From the beginning the project met with scepticism: wasn´t this a bit too ambitious? Why three or four towers at once instead of starting with one and thus spreading the financial risk? Was the dry river bed of the Rio Turia really the best place for the project? -When I was a child, I often went camping with my parents my father used to teach me common sense by instructing me not to put up my tent at low points or near a river bed for the risk of flooding. Calatrava probably never went camping.

Also people wondered about Calatrava´s obsession with height: was it really necessary to build that high? Of course the towers´ height would grant them exclusivity -and who would not want to live in a unique, Calatrava-designed tower of record height? A year after the project´s presentation the contract with Calatrava was finally signed.

Why not in Valencia?

Even though the project was deemed impossible, critics had to acknowledge Caltrava had managed to pull off a project of similar size -well, maybe just a little bit smaller- in Sweden. In Malmö Calatrava had built the Turning Torso tower of 190 meters height while succeeding to stay within only three times the budgeted cost (costing a total 1600 million Swedish Krona instead of the esteemed 550 million). With this success in mind, building three Calatrava towers would surely be Valencia´s winning lottery ticket.

So, if Malmö could build one, why couldn´t Valencia build three? There are some reasons why not:
·         There was no solid financial basis to build the towers. Here was a plan with no money: Who was going to finance it?

·         The city did not need the towers´ fancy apartments or hotels.

·        Let´s not forget that constructing only one tower in “well organised” Sweden had already proved quite a feat. No doubt constructing three towers in chaotic and corrupt Valencia would be worse.

·         With the ending of the construction bubble and the beginning of the financial crisis apartment blocks would soon lose their value. A perfect example of what might have happened can be found in the same city.

nou-mestalla-obras-paralizadas

Local football heroes Valencia CF decided to finance their new stadium (Nou Mestalla) with the future sale of their old (Mestalla). The result is a half-finished stadium on a building site that lies abandoned since 2009 and a football club with debts of around 300 million €.

So even beforehand chances weren´t good. Then what happened?

Before 2004

Already in1994 the city of Valencia had disowned the grounds it later destined for the Calatrava Towers as part of the project for the CAC. The owner of the grounds, a film production company was paid an amount of 3 million € in pesetas for the terrain and its buildings. The terrain was left without any permanent use until 2004 when Calatrava came up with a new plan for it. Calatrava directly presented it to his good friends in politics who instantly accepted, they returned the favor by naming Calatrava the architect who would be allowed to execute a plan on the mentioned terrain. No other architects were given the chance to present their own (cheaper, more prestigious?) projects for the same grounds. Striking the iron while it was hot Calatrava quickly produced a couple of paper models that were presented to the press and cashed his first check of 2,6 million € for them. According to Francisco Camps, the democratically voted president of the Generalitat –the regional government- this was the only money that was paid to Calatrava for the project.

parcelas

After 2004

According to Gerardo Camps (not related, as far as I know), a local big shot of the reigning Partido Popular and named in various major corruption scandals, Calatrava handed in a completely finished project for the three towers as early as in 2005. A plan, however, that no-one has ever seen. The next logical step would have been to invite interested construction companies to present their offers for building the towers. This never happened.

A minor detail in the eyes of the project´s initiators but one that had to be surmounted was the development plan for the area that reserved 45.000m2 for a social housing project. As social housing requires apartments to be sold or let for as little money as possible this did not fit in well with in the prestigious Calatrava project. The Valencian government managed to erase the social housing from the map, although the legality of the procedures that were used is still being disputed, paving the road for the construction of the luxurious Calatrava towers.

Before officially opening up the project for construction companies that were interested in building the towers, the Valencian government tried to find a partner that would guarantee it would buy the completed towers for at least 300 million €. This to avoid the government would pay constructors for the building of the three towers without being able to sell the completed towers to a buyer. As time went by without a buyer in sight the Calatrava towers seemed to have gone up into thin air.

The project silently disappears

Ever since 2006 the project has silently disappeared only to unexpectedly resurface every now and then. The original owners of the grounds as early as 1994 have protested the illegality of the procedures by which they were evicted claiming that the 3,5 million € they received for the grounds were not their real value. Otherwise how could it be possible that what was once valued at 3 million € by the government was in 2012 being put up for sale by that same government for 289 million €?

The Calatrava towers, be it as models, had been main features on the 2004 and 2005 Valencian real estate exhibition Urbe Desarrollo but in 2006 they were removed from the city´s exhibition stand even though the project was officially still a reality.

The government´s official position by name of consellera Lola Johnson still is that it is “working on the project to get the best price and highest financial gain.” Does this mean the regional government has become a real estate speculator itself, waiting for prices to go up again after the current financial crisis? Or has the government really given up on the project but needs it esteemed value to fill gaps in the region´s yearly budget? In 2011 the purely hypothetical sale of the grounds, including Calatrava´s project,  figured as income on the local government´s official budget for an amount of 416 million €, thus masking part of the region´s disastrous financial situation. Of course nothing happened, no sale was done and these 416 million € never materialized. In spite of this the grounds and project appeared again on the 2012 budget, be it this time for only 289 million €. What made the building ground lose 125 million € worth in one year? And why had it not been sold as planned? The truth is, of course, that the terrains were only used in an act of creative accounting by Valencia´s local government.

Calatrava decides

By 2013 the expected sale of the grounds and Calatrava´s project (those paper models, remember?) have been taken off the local government´s budget. Although apparently the sale is no longer expected, one thing has become clear: any interested buyer will be negotiating with Calatrava himself. In the original contract Calatrava signed in 2005 with the Valencian government, he negotiated that in case of sale of the grounds, the buyer would buy the grounds including the project for Calatrava´s three towers. In case the buyer was not planning on proceeding with building them, he would need to negotiate with Calatrava about a new use, meaning the buyer should either hire Calatrava for a new project or he should pay him a large sum of money to let go of his right to decide about the ground´s use.

In other words: in order to cover the debt Valencia incurred by building the unfinished Ciudad de las Artes y de las Ciencias (CAC) that was designed by Santiago Calatrava and that cost 1,4 billion € instead of the planned 300 million, a possible buyer for the grounds at which the Calatrava towers were planned will need to negotiate with the very same Calatrava that has already cost the Valencian community so much money.

“All right,” one might say, “but this right to negotiate with an interested buyer is a way for Calatrava to compensate for his project not being carried out and the financial loss this means for him.” What financial loss? For the three towers that were never built and for which no design exists beside the paper models, Calatrava already cashed 15 million € (Correct, this is significantly more than the 2,6 million that were mentioned by provincial president and Calatrava´s buddy Francisco Camps. We will get to that). The towers´ project was invented to make up for the financial losses of the Ciudad de las Artes (CAC) that went roughly a billion Euros over budget and for which Calatrava received 10% of the total construction costs (Indeed: Calatrava tends to put in his contracts a fee of 10% of the final costs and not of the budget, meaning that the more expensive his project becomes the more money he gets). In short, there is no need to feel sorry, with these millions of public money on his bank account it is unlikely Calatrava will suffer starvation in the near future.

Although consellera Johnson insists that the Calatrava Towers remain a life project, in harmony with nearby Ciudad de las Artes y de las Ciencias and that the province aims to sell to the highest bidder, the fictitious towers are likely to remain an abandoned wasteland, in harmony with the province of Valencia´s bank accounts.

Before the court

Being politically powerless against the absolute majority of Valencia´s Partido Popular members of left wing party EU (Esquerra Unida) have taken the case to court where it was shelved because Spanish law “does not consider wasting public funds a crime”. Preliminary investigations did however bring to light something that Valencia´s president Francisco Camps had tried to keep hidden from the public: Calatrava had received a total of 15 million Euros for the project that consisted of nothing more than some paper models of the towers:

30 September 2005: 2,6 million €

30 March 2006: 6,2 million € for the project´s second pre-phase (whatever is meant by that)

30 August 2006: 137.000€ for the three models of 2004 (Wait, hadn´t they already been paid in 2005? Probably this regards the second version of the project: the model with 3 instead of 4 towers)

28 February 2007: 6,2 million € for the project´s third pre-phase (sure, add another pre-phase)

President Francisco Camps until then had always claimed Calatrava had only received 2,6 million Euros of public money. In Spain politicians do not tend to be transparent about the way public money is spent and no legal obligations exist for them to do so. Needless to say not a single politician left office because of the 15 million that could have been spent on unfinished hospitals, schools or other social improvements that Valencia desperately needs but went into the pocket of Santiago Calatrava for a job that beforehand was deemed impossible and was never carried out. Partido Popular politicians have underlined the whole process has been completely legal because “in every moment the one who decides is the one who is allowed to decide”, he who has the “responsibility to govern” has to decide. In other words: giving the project to Calatrava was legal because we (the Partido Popular) were allowed to decide. Or in even other words: We can do what the %&+#!; we want. Be it nepotism or not.

The case of the three unbuilt Calatrava towers is a sad example of typical political attitudes that have lead Spain into its current economical crisis.

What is left

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The metal wings of Calatrava´s Agora lay abandoned on the grounds of the Calatrava towers. “In a perfect state” according to consellera Lola Johnson.

The grounds that were chosen for the construction of the three Calatrava Towers are now nothing but a wasteland where 1388 tons of expensive hydraulic metal wings of nearby Agora (one of the unfinished buildings of Calatrava´s infamous Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias) are rotting away waiting for metal thiefs and vandals. Consellera Lola Johnson however denied this. According to her the Agora´s wings wings are a metal structure that weighs tons that is being kept in a perfectly secured and closed place… The wings are being well looked after and in a perfect state.” The picture above be the judge of Mrs. Johnson´s credibility.

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Partido Popular politician Lola Johnson, so shamelessly lying I just had to look her up. To the left president Camps, again.

Officially the Agora will still be completed by placing the (scrap) metal as its hydraulically mobile wings. But as often is the case when Caltrava designs his building to move, the moving parts are scrapped from the project or turn out not to work (for example the Obelisc in Madrid, the roof of the WTC hub in New York). The same will happen with the Agora that no-one believes will ever be finished and whose crown is left to rot away on the corpse of yet another abandoned-but-expensive Calatrava project.

Links

http://elpais.com/elpais/2011/11/10/actualidad/1320916629_850215.html

http://politica.elpais.com/politica/2011/11/08/actualidad/1320778748_549626.html

http://www.lasprovincias.es/prensa/20061128/valencia/torres-calatrava-dejan-exponerse_20061128.html

http://www.levante-emv.com/comunitat-valenciana/2012/05/31/consell-trabaja-enajenacion-parcela-torres-calatrava-obtener-mejor-precio/909594.html

http://www.urbanity.es/foro/rascacielos-y-highrises-cva/81-valencia-torres-calatrava-en-cac-27.html

http://www.elmundo.es/elmundo/2012/0…330932628.html

http://www.lasprovincias.es/v/20130707/valencia/antiguo-dueno-solar-rascacielos-20130707.html

http://elpais.com/diario/2008/03/08/cvalenciana/1205007483_850215.html

http://www.jotdown.es/2011/05/desmontando-a-calatrava-como-acabar-de-una-vez-con-los-arquitectos-estrella/

http://www.diarioinformacion.com/alicante/2012/04/14/exalto-cargo-consell-culpa-juez-gerardo-camps-contratos-urdangarin/1243378.html

http://www.diarioinformacion.com/alicante/2011/11/09/camps-pago-15-millones-calatrava-3-torres-construiran/1188387.html

http://www.economiadigital.es/valencia/mobile-viewer.php?IDN=2013_05_31649

http://elpais.com/elpais/2011/12/09/actualidad/1323422220_850215.html

Llotja de Sant Jordi – Alcoy (ESP)

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The community space designed by Calatrava has never met the legal security standards, extra costs have been made to improve (but not solve) this issue. Its steep stairs make access very difficult.

Built: 1995

The following are crude notes and links I have gathered during my research. The information may be in various languages and is being updated during the research process until a full article is written. 

alcoy trap

Bijnaam: La bandeja

http://www.levante-emv.com/comunitat-valenciana/2011/04/30/alcoi-estudia-cerrar-llotgeta-calatrava-falta-seguridad/802882.html

http://www.diarioinformacion.com/alcoy/2011/04/28/deficiencias-seguridad-ponen-peligro-futuro-sala-subterranea-calatrava/1120779.html

é´´en van de eerste karakteristieke werken van calatrava. Een ondergrondse zaal onder de plaza de españa van alcoy (alicante).

Enige onderdelen avnd e zaal zijn nooit gebouwd, zoals de pilaar van san jorge.

La sala surgió como sala de música y teatro, pero la defectuosa audición provocó que se tuviera que reconvertir a unos usos más sociales, como exposiciones o congresos de pequeño mediano. También en esto hubo problemas, pues la primera exposición que se organizó no pudo llegar a celebrarse porque los cuadros no pasaban por la puerta: eran demasiado grandes. Ahora ya es “acústicamente satisfactoria”, pero después de una inversión de 600.000 euros del Gobierno central en el Plan E.

Jamás ha podido adecuarse a las normas de seguridad, que se han intensificado con los años. Fuentes del gobierno municipal del PP admiten que el ayuntamiento ha tenido que certificar oficialmente, a raíz de una petición externa, que la sala subterránea carece de licencia de apertura.

las dos escalinatas de entrada y salida. Ambas, según se resalta desde el gobierno del PP, tienen una pendiente inadecuada con respecto a la normativa y la anchura de los escalones es más reducida de la establecida por la legislación de seguridad vigente. La subsanación de estos extremos se considera “imposible”, debido a que obligaría a una reforma urbanística de enorme magnitud

in 2009 (se están volviendo a reparar los polémicos cristales y desarrollando mejoras, sobre todo técnicas, en el interior de la sala subterránea) zijn herstel en verbeteringswerken uitgevoerd voor een bedrag van 600.000€.Calatrava nam direct contact op met de gemeente om de garantie te krijgen dat de “integridad artística y arquitectónica” van zijn werk niet aangetast zou worden.

Calatrava otorgó una iluminación “natural” a la sala, para lo cual colocó bandas acristaladas en la superficie de la bandeja. Evidentemente, esto incrementó la luminosidad de la Llotja, pero las “mascletàs” que se disparan sobre la bandeja y los trabucazos del Alardo los rompían, lo que provocaba que cada vez que llovía el agua entrara y hubiera auténticas inundaciones. Las imágenes de la exposición repleta de cubos para recoger el agua o de la superficie cubierta con un plástico -que los detractores bautizaron como el “condón”- son impagables, hasta el punto que se llegó a editar una postal.

2011: nieuw systeem om wateroverlast van llotja tegen te gaan. Had last van overlast sinds de opning in 1995. e va a proceder a la sustitución de todos los cristales de la superficie de la bandeja de la plaza de España -una actuación que ya se ha efectuado en alguna que otra ocasión- y, a la vez, se colocarán desagües para canalizar las aguas pluviales, “evitando las goteras que tenemos”.

Está previsto que la recogida de pluviales se efectúe a través de canalizaciones de mayor tamaño de las originales. Cabe significar que uno de los problemas crónicos que ha registrado la Llotja desde su construcción es la presencia de goteras en épocas de lluvia

http://www.diarioinformacion.com/alcoy/2009/06/09/nuevo-sistema-desagues-llotja/896136.html

Calatrava ontwierp ook het plein met de toegangen etc voor de llotja.

http://www.abiyoyo.com/articles/1004_llotja_de_sant_jordi_alcoy_alcoi.html

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Bridge Zona Norte (not built) – Alcoy (ESP)

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Santiago Calatrava and mayor José Sanus planning the bridge

In 1995 Calatrava received 90 million pesetas (540.000 €) for the paper model of a bridge that was never built because the local government found no way to finance the project.

The following are crude notes and links I have gathered during my research. The information may be in various languages and is being updated during the research process until a full article is written. 

http://www.abc.es/hemeroteca/historico-08-10-2003/abc/Valencia/el-ayuntamiento-de-alcoy-pagara-85000-%C2%A4-a-calatrava-por-un-puente-que-no-se-construyo_212482.html

Viaducto-Zona Norte, que jamás se ha construido, en una actuación fallida por la que el arquitecto cobró 540.000 euros, que tuvo que desembolsar el ayuntamiento después de un proceso judicial.

http://www.diarioinformacion.com/alcoy/2011/03/22/sanus-pago-calatrava-540000-euros-puente-construyo/1107348.html

plan uit 1995 onder socialistische burgemeester. Afspraak toen:

Calatrava debía percibir el 7,5% del coste del puente por el anteproyecto con maqueta y proyecto y el 3,5%, por la dirección de obras, más 66.000 euros por la maqueta y planos. En total, 1,8 millones, al margen de sobrecostes.

Brug werd afgeblazen omdat de provincie valencia de brug niet wilde financieren. Calatrava had in 1995 al 540.000€ ontvangen. Hij was hiermee niet tevreden en na een proces wees de TSJ (?)en julio de 2003 le reconocío 85.547 euros en concepto de indemnización y 4.792, de intereses. En total, 90.340 euros. Calatrava percibió así 631.251 euros por el puento que no se construyó.

Fases de cobro parcial se daban exactamente igual en Alcoy que en castellón: A la firma del contrato, el ayuntamiento debía abonarle el 10% de los honorarios de redacción del proyecto (135.000 euros, cuyo pago se aprobó en abril de 1995) y el 30% (factura de 405.000 euros ratificada en septiembre de 1995) a la entrega del anteproyecto.
Asimismo, la contratación fue a dedo, acogiéndose a una de las excepciones de la normativa “por cincunstancias técnicas y excepcionales que se conjugan en la personalidad” de Calatrava. Con todo, hay diferencias respecto al Consell: Las condiciones se conocieron en el pleno y de hecho el contrato se aprobó con la abstención del PP. El ayuntamiento le pidió una garantía (de la que le eximió el Consell), de 54.091 euros, que le devolvió en febrero de 2000.

http://www.diarioinformacion.com/alcoy/2011/03/22/sanus-pago-calatrava-540000-euros-puente-construyo/1107348.html