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Calatrava wades into row over flooded Valencia opera house

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Valencian architect Santiago Calatrava is embroiled in a bitter row with city officials after his opera house flooded.

Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava has become embroiled in a bitter row with city officials in his home town of Valencia over the cause of flooding in his opera house, Palau de les Arts, which opened in 2005.

Torrential rain last week caused problems to the building’s electrical system as well as damaging the heating and cooling system, while one smaller theatre was covered with mud and water.

The flooding damage has caused at least two shows to be postponed and now a feud has flared up between Calatrava’s office and city bosses after Calatrava’s spokesman Fernando Benzo said that Valencian officials ignored Calatrava’s original design for a ‘water sheath’ that would have protected the building.

And according to the Guardian, Calatrava’s studio has pointed the finger at the landscaping around the opera house, which it said channelled rainwater straight into the building.

The Valencian architect is also courting controversy in Bilbao, where he is suing city officials there for 3 million euros (£2 million) after the city commissioned Japanese architect Arata Isozaki to add a walkway to Calatrava’s own bridge.

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