Celebrated architect wants his money back
Construction of illegal spa complex was halted by the authorities in 2006
By Dave Jones AWARDwinning Japanese architect Toyo Ito is asking Torrevieja town hall to refund the deposit he put down to construct the illfated spa complex on the shore of the largest of the municipality’s salt lakes.
The project – promoted by former Partido Popular ( PP) mayor Pedro Hernández Mateo –was sunk by the national government after it was found that part of the tourism infrastructure was being built inside the protection perimeter of La MataTorrevieja natural park without a licence.
The scheme foresaw the construction of three futuristic buildings for a mud spa, even though bathing in the lake is banned and subject to a large fine.
Since the €1.5 million project was halted in the middle of the last decade, the rusting structure known locally as the ‘whale’ has been gradually deteriorating on the shore of the lagoon.
Residents living nearby have denounced that the spa building has been stripped of anything of value, vandalised, torched and is now a focus for flytipping.
They highlighted that the structure is now a terrible eyesore in an area of natural beauty.
However, even though the coalition council has tried to coordinate the demolition of the ‘whale’ and the cleanup of the site with the regional government, no plans have yet been presented for the work.
Branded ‘one of the world’s most innovative and influential architects’, Mr Ito has asked his representative in Spain to recover the deposit he put down in order to construct the complex.
Deputy mayor Fanny Serrano explained that the council’s ruling board has decided to ‘suspend’ the request while the town planning department draws up a new report on the issue.
“It would be surprising if we had to hand back this money, taking into account that the project has ended up the way it has,” she said.
The eyesore mud spa building is now a burnedout ruin