Sunset over the Santiago Calatrava-designed Ysios winery in northern Spain is a sight to behold; the angular beams of aluminum laid across the undulating roof reflect the orange dusk in spectacular ways. Push that romanticism aside, however, and the sad truth remains: all that beauty has done little to keep out the rain. Domecq Wines, the winery owner, is now demanding €2 million ($2.6 million) from Calatrava so that they can hire someone to completely redo the roof. Over the past 12 years, Calatrava's own builders have been unable to plug its persistent leak.
Unfortunately, this isn't an isolated case; the Guardian was able to compile a list of faulty Calatrava structures from around the world, from tiles falling loose from Valencia's Palau de Les Arts to too-slippery surfaces on his controversial Grand Canal bridge in Venice. But this incident should do little to damper Calatrava's reputation, since he is certainly not alone. Even the modernists occasionally failed to consider the weather. "Fallingwater leaked, for example; so did the lakeside home Le Corbusier built for his parents," the Atlantic Cities once reported. And just imagine how a flat roof could survive the weight of Connecticut snowstorm.
-Janelle Zara, BLOUIN ARTINFO
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