Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia, Valencia, Santiago Calatrava, opera house, white elephant, City of Arts and Sciences, trencadis, mosaic tiles, laminated steel, Calatravatelaclava, Ignacio Blanco, performance hall

Built as the centerpiece to the spectacular City of Arts and Sciences complex, the futuristic Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia is one of Spain’s most iconic buildings as well as the world’s tallest opera house. The curved-roof structure is divided into four separate multi-purpose venues that accommodate programming from political rallies to contemporary dance. White concrete and shimmering white mosaic tiles, or trencadis, coat the two laminated steel shells flanking the elevated, metallic feather roof.

Structural setbacks, from stage collapses to flooding, have plagued the building since its 2005 opening and continue to rack up steep repair and maintenance costs. Frustrated by the high expenses, local politician Ignacio Blanco has even created a website called Calatravatelaclava–loosely translated as “Calatrava bleeds you dry”–to point out the myriad problems, such as the 150 seats in the venue with obstructed views. Last Friday, a government spokesman announced that Valencia will pursue legal action against Calatrava for the “construction defects.”

+ Santiago Calatrava

Via The Telegraph