“Absolutely terrible” castle restoration wins top award


A Spanish castle restoration project slammed on completion has now received an international award.

When architects finished their controversial restoral of Matrera Castle last year, it was panned as one of the worst examples of modern building.

The grafting of brand new white stone onto its crumbling 1,000-year-old walls was supposed to remind visitors of its original dimensions. But critics the result was more like a multi-storey block of flats than an ancient Moorish castle.


Now, though, despite floods of complaints from conservationists, the chief architect behind the scheme, Carlos Quevedo, has won a prestigious industry award.

The castle restoration has won a prize in preservation category of the global Architizer awards, which celebrate innovation in architecture and design worldwide.

Quevedo, who will go to collect his award in New York next month said: “For us it’s an enormous recognition of a job that took five years and a huge effort. We are extremely happy.”

Less delighted is Hispanianostra, a Spanish cultural heritage organisation, which said the restoration was “absolutely terrible”.

The restoration work on the castle was commissioned after it suffered severe damage during heavy rains three years ago.

Architecture experts say the restoration style is in keeping with a recent trend for restoring ruins with modern blank additions, to give the public an idea of their original dimensions.

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