Saturday, April 3, 2010

News: Toyo Ito Mud Baths in Limbo

The Spanish newspaper El País published a brief account on April 1st of the lamentable state of Toyo Ito's Relaxation Park in Torrevieja, Alicante (in Spanish).

The project, for a series of three shell-like pavilions for mud spa therapies beside Torrevieja's shore-front lagoon, was featured in the 2006 On-Site show on Spanish architecture at New York's Museum of Modern Art. It is being promoted by the municipal government. But the nation's Coastal Authority ordered the project halted for violating laws prohibiting new waterfront development. While the city seeks approval for a revised plan, the single pavilion built so far has been vandalized and is being occupied by "temporary refugees".

Ito has recently completed two towers for Barcelona's Porta Fira Fair complex in L´Hospitalet, a project for subsidized housing in the provincial capital of Logroño, and the first phase of the Gavia Water Park in Vallecas, Madrid, according to an interview with the architect by Anaxtu Zabalbeascoa published in El País on March 27th.

More project information, images on the Alicante journal ViA Arquitectura webpage (my thanks to them for the photo above). Early views of the Porta Fira towers can be found on Designboom.

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