1. This reminds me a lot of the Getty Center in Los Angeles. It is a massive museum and research space designed by Richard Meier. It took over ten years to build and incorporates 16,000 tons of Travertine from Italy – each block of which was hand-selected by the architect. Although the complex is beautiful the question of sustainability occurs to me as well.


    1. As a matter of fact, it is similar to Getty Center, but with a twist. As far as I know, the Getty Center is a private site, and its future depends on private budgets, so if the Getty Foundation goes broke, it is to some point up to them (even being a pitty for the cultural scene at some degree I can not evaluate). The Santiago project is a public one, so in the current dire straits of the spanish economy every resource it receives is to be detracted from other cultural expenditures in the region in less sexy, but more basic elements as libraries. I happen to like some aspects of the project, but as a citizen I do ask myself about the economical sustainability of such projects, decided as a consequence of the Guggenheim Bilbao succes, whose roots are in difficult to replicate issues. This is not to say that this only happens in Spain (this morning I did read a good article on the Guardian about “the public”, another public initiative trying to regenerate a city that has gone much worse, and those were the “financial savvy” britons…
      In the end, I am european, I think there is a sense in the involvement of the public powers in such things as city regeneration or cultural policies (try to explain Kelo vs New London to any european planner and he will think you americans are crazy), but we somehow have gone nuts here in Spain in that sense in the last years, Santiago being a somewhat reasonable project when compared to others (altough we also have made some good things, that I also try to show)….
      So for the short answer…

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