‘Truly lamentable’ castle restoration wins international prize

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The castle after and before its questionable restoration

THE widely-criticised refurbishment of 1,000-year-old Matrera Castle in Cadiz was awarded a prestigious international architecture prize on Tuesday April 12.

Restoration of the ancient fortress took five years, and involved shoring up the dilapidated walls, returning it to its original dimensions.

The result was not well-received by the public, and a bitter feud broke out, with traditionalists viewing it as a botched attempt to modernise the structure.

Others have pointed out that the project simply follows a recent trend for restoring ruins with similar blank additions.

Despite the criticism, the project was recently shortlisted for the global Architizer A+ awards, and it has now won the popular vote in the architecture and preservation category.

Architect Carlos Quevedo expressed his delight at the announcement, and said: “I am proud of the work we’ve done and we want to celebrate. It is very important for us because it a recognition for all the work we have done over five years.”

“We were sure of the work we did. The critics didn’t like the change to the monument… Many have been negative, but architects – not only from Spain, but internationally – have sent me messages saying the project is good.”

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