New Door by Álvaro Siza and Juan Domingo Santos, first prize in the Atrio de la Alhambra International Ideas Competition
New Door, by architects Álvaro Siza Vieira and Juan Domingo Santos, has been proclaimed winner of the Atrio de la Alhambra International Ideas Competition. The jury, chaired by the Council for Culture general secretary for cultural policy, Bartolomé Ruiz, praised “its scenic integration with its immediate environment, and its perfect compliance with the aims of the Alhambra Management Plan”.
According to the jury, the project, submitted by Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza Vieira and his Granadian colleague Juan Domingo Santos, has “excellent specifications and responds perfectly to the needs of the program, guaranteeing its technical and functional viability”.
This decision, passed by the 15-member jury, 13 of whom are prominent architects, including Carlos Ferrater, Josep María Montaner, Víctor Pérez Escolano and Gabriel Ruiz Cabrero, among others, brings an end to the second and final phase of the competition, which praised “the high architectural quality of all the proposals submitted, their originality and their innovation”
The jury’s decision was unanimous and, after lengthy deliberation, they also acknowledged the project At the feet of the Alhambra, submitted by Guillermo Vázquez Consuegra, as “complying perfectly with the needs of the program” and “proposing an excellent organisation of visitor routes”. Likewise, February, submitted by architects Cruz y Ortiz, was praised for its “typological clarity” and “its sequencing of spaces in relation to the Alhambra”. Along with these three, others that were admitted to Phase II of the competition were Soul Garden, submitted by JLCG Arquitectos LDA – Antonio Jiménez Torrecillas, and Time by Manuel Aires Mateus and Antonio Tejedor.
After the term for the submission of preliminary projects ended on 15 February last, each team was required to submit explanatory panels, using planimetrics and virtual three dimensional representation, along with scale models, which will remain on display in the Chapel of the Palace of Carlos V.
The aim of the Atrio de la Alhambra competition was to improve the visitor experience and to remedy certain deficiencies with regard to tourist reception and information and the distribution of the ticket offices, among other aspects. The improvements proposed by the Patronato de la Alhambra y Generalife (PAG) include a small assembly room where 3D documentaries can be screened, and a tourist office offering information not just about the Alhambra site, but also about Granada and Andalusia as a whole.
One of the aims of the proposals was to recover the visuals of the site, redefining its southern aspect and the views over the wickerwork workshops and the Cypress Avenue. Another aspect to which PAG paid special attention was the need to visually integrate the current two parking areas.
The International Ideas Competition forms part of the framework of events set out in the Alhambra Management Plan, the roadmap that will mark the future of the site until 2015.