Thursday, July 12, 2012

Endgame In Córdoba

The Berlin weekly Bauwelt asked me to report on the cancellation of Rem Koolhaas' Congress Center in Córdoba, as announced by the city's new conservative mayor last March. The project was originally conceived in a 2001 competition and has long been bogged down in financing problems. This is a major loss for the city, but the project was not without problems as well -- a lose-lose boggle every way you look at it.

"Clearly Spain's local politicians have a lot to learn about how to responsibly manage large building projects. But architects, as accomplices in their wasteful building spree, are being held to account as well, as the profession enters a period of profound self-examination. Is architecture a plaything of the newly-rich (whether governments or individuals), a gaudy bauble, or does it have something serious and important to offer society?"

The site today. Photo: DC
Endspiel in Córdoba
Bauwelt 26.12, July 6, 2012, pages 6 - 7
(No web version available without subscription)

Thankfully though, historic Córdoba is still around:

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