The suit was brought by a group of neighborhood residents who objected to the construction of the building in a public park, situated near the Plaza de España and other university buildings. The court ruled that the city's and university's decision to sacrifice part of the park for the project --about 8% of its total area-- was not sufficiently justified. The project's backers, the court ruled, had not presented sufficient evidence for why the library could not be built elsewhere.
City and university authorities now plan to meet to find another site for the library.
Until recently, politicians in Spain have enjoyed a surprisingly free hand in making important planning decisions such as this, with minimal public comment, participation or protest. But as the case shows, this began to change even before the current crisis.
The neighbors who brought the suit were openly hostile to the Hadid design. Why is it always Hadid who attracts such hostility? Why is it always Hadid who is made to pay for the public's most reactionary instincts? There are certainly others more deserving of public ire, but these are the same who tend to become public idols.
Local politicians throughout Spain have allowed themselves to be over-dazzled by big architectural names, and the case of Hadid in Seville is no exception. But the responsibility for this fiasco in court is clearly theirs, not hers.
In my 2009 article, Hadid’s project architect for the project, Sophie Le Bienvenu, explained that the building "lifts off the ground, so that the gardens extend under it." She pointed out that it will be open to the general public. “It's an addition to the park that promotes the city’s cultural life,” she says. “The park will still be there, and people will be able to enjoy it more.”
has UNESCO threatening to put Seville on its list of endangered heritage sites. But that's another story.....
Rowan Moore's lively review in The Guardian last March:
Oh my God, it's an icon. How very last decade. Did the city of Seville not get the memo? Big, flashy buildings are out; hair shirts are in.Top, Photo montage of library by Studio of Zaha Hadid
Middle, Photo montage of Pelli tower from El Mundo, 06.22.09
Bottom, Photo © Roland Halbe