Staff reporter
THE design of the accesses to the underground carpark in Palma's Plaza Santa Pagesa has come under fire.
The carpark will be officially opened on Friday, December 12, providing there are no last minute hitches. The date is some six months later than originally planned by the City Council. According to municipal sources, the significant delay has been due to intense rainfall that has on several occasions, flooded the as yet uncovered, cavernous excavation areas. The works themselves, and the ongoing re-scheduling has given rise to widespread resident complaint.
The underground carpark construction in Palma is causing some surprises.
In the case of construction work along the Vía Roma, it was the discovery of a stretch of renaissance city wall; but in Plaza Santa Pagesa, where there have been considerable delays, it is the large glass and stainless steel shelter that houses the elevator and stairway access to the underground parking area. The “box” in question consists of a type of large walled structure, out of perspective with the size of the square where it has been erected, according to critics. It has given rise to complaints from residents who are not happy at all with “the contraption that the City Council have lumbered us with”.
They are also concerned about the delays that appear to be associated with this project, which are already considerable.
The situation warrants comparison with the experiences of a city such as Bilbao and to compare the designs that have been used in providing municipal services, such as the metro. The accesses, stations, walkways and covered malls were designed by renowned architect, Norman Foster, and have been nicknamed fosteritos. The integral design has become part of the artistic and cultural heritage of the city. But if in Bilbao, underground access points have been christened fosteritos, the construction at Plaza Santa Pagesa is already being referred to in unflattering terms as diverse as “a piece of old junk”, “contraption”, “bunker”. Other more discreet shelters, but of a similar “box-like” design have been installed at the head of underground parking areas in the Avenidas and Ausias March.

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