“The Zaida Building is at the southern end of a19th-century city block in the Spanish city of Granada, facing the Plaza Puerta Real (also known as Fuente de las Batallas). The new building takes its name from the old Zaida Building that once existed on the same site.
This project was developed by taking over three separate but adjacent lots; one of them was an old courtyard house built in a typical Andalusian style around two patios. Although its façade has been changed to better integrate it into the overall building layout, this existing older building has been preserved. According to architect Alvaro Siza, the building’s location on the city’s important Plaza Puerta Real demanded the provision of a more prominent architectural presence as well as a more appropriate urban scale concordant with the surrounding edifices (six-story height). All these conditions and requirements were added to the development of a complex and difficult project due to the programs required by different owners. Siza was able to sort through these conflicting forces and to design a building with a strong image and physical presence, whose final shape contains clear historic references to the volumes in the Islamic quarters of Granada but also to the Rodriguez Acosta Foundation Building, one of Granada’s well-known and cherished local institutions.”