Local opposition may force abandonment of architect's Spanish avant-garde building

Plans for a futuristic €4m library in Seville designed by Zaha Hadid have been thrown into disarray after opposition from local residents.

Construction of the new three-storey library for Seville University has now been halted by the Andalucian High Court after neighbouring residents said it would encroach on a protected green space.

The architect has described the library as a “sculpted bar of stone”, and her designs are characteristically daring.

But it is not simply the nature of the designs that have incensed local residents. The building would take up approximately 8% of the Prado de San Sebastian park, an area where locals reportedly flock to escape the summer heat.

Zaha Hadid
Hadid has described the library as a “sculpted bar of stone”

Seville's council had changed zoning rules to allow the library to be built, but the High Court overturned this following a petition from local residents.

In a statement to the court, residents of the Calle de Diego de Riaño in Seville said: “The location of the new library clearly violates the requirements of protection inherent in the role of the Prado de San Sebastián as a part of the history of Seville.”

The council now plans to appeal the decision, claiming that a new library will bring tourists and cultural prestige to the city.