Castle of Matrera – A Controversial Restoration
Castle of Matrera is a medieval castle at Villamartín, Cádiz in Spain dating back to 9th century. It was declared a national monument and an example of Heritage of Cultural Interest. The castle got a controversial restoration in 2015.
In 2010, only a few walls of the castle remained standing, and the ruins were further damaged by rain in 2013. The structural problems were detected however there were a scarce work of repairing and, in 2013, a large part of the tower collapsed.
Led by the architect Carlos Quevado, a restoration project was launched in 2010 and completed in 2015. Parts of the tower were rebuilt with lime plaster similar to samples found on the site, with large, plain blocks defining the original shape of the castle. Quevado didn’t only want to protect the ruin, as it’s described by him, he wanted to “recover the volume, texture, and tonality that the tower would originally have had”, and differentiate new additions from the original structure.
The subsequent work of preservation in 2016 with the authorization of the Junta de Andalucía was very controversial. It was praised by the architectural community, and was nominated for the 2016 Architizer A+ Award, in the Architecture Preservation category, winning the public choice vote. The Guardian launched a article with “Ridiculed restoration of Spanish castle wins architecture prize” as headline.