02-03-2020

El Muelle studio completes a landscaping project in Benalmádena on the Costa del Sol

El Muelle Arquitectos,

Fernando Alda,

Benalmádena, Andalusia,

urban park,

Landscaping,

The Spanish architecture studio El Muelle has completed a project tied to tradition, to the landscape and to memory in the town of Benalmádena on the Costa del Sol, Andalusia. Their work has added value to the landscape along the waterfront, which makes it more attractive to use.



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El Muelle studio completes a landscaping project in Benalmádena on the Costa del Sol A stairway in the rocks, a scenic lookout over the sea: a project designed to improve the landscape and make it more accessible. And no, we’re not in Norway, where this kind of architecture is subsidized by the government to create landmarks in a nature that is already magnificent in itself; and where the marks of human intervention make us feel just a little bit safer in the face of the incredible force of the elements.
Here, instead, we’re talking about the new boardwalk and beach access in Benalmádena Costa. Benalmádena is located in the western part of the Costa del Sol, between Torremolinos and Fuengirola, and it’s one of the Andalusian region’s most popular tourist towns. Here, the highest point is the Cerro del Moro where at almost 1000 metres ASL you can take in the views over the Costa del Sol and the coastline of North Africa and Gibraltar. With its cheesy architecture from the middle of the last century, mass tourism has really conditioned this whole landscape and has left an indelible mark here - not only on the seafront. Tourism in Benalmádena mainly revolves around golf but it also offers other attractions like theme parks and casinos with their respective infrastructures, and, of course, the beaches.
In this context, unlike apparently similar projects elsewhere in the world, the landscaping by Malaga-based firm El Muelle Arquitectos has created a counterpoint of quality and tranquillity in the architectural confusion created by humans.
In Benalmádena Costa, with all the large tourist resort complexes, the design of the new access to the beach and the boardwalk are actions tied to tradition, to the landscape and to memory. The architects from El Muelle have recovered fragments of this past connected to the sea and to nature by using materials associated with the seafaring tradition to build the infrastructure.
They came up with a kind of entrance lobby, a scenic lookout over the Mediterranean connecting Antonio Machado avenue with the Torrequebrada promenade through a stairway carved into the side of the hill leading down to the sea.
Their work added value to the local landscape and its pivotal position between Torrevigía beach and Torrequebrada beach. A gentle strip and a hard strip develop along the whole boardwalk. The gentle strip is intended for landscaping with Mediterranean plantings as well as urban furniture and lighting to generate a space that acts as a “buffer zone” between the hotel complex and the waterfront walk. The team from El Muelle selected a number of places designed for people to rest and relax, enjoy the sun or just contemplate the landscape. Against this, the sections with hard paving are intended for jogging and other more strenuous activities.
The transformation and creation of this waterfront walk in Benalmádena by El Muelle Arquitectos has uncovered a small natural oasis in this tourist town, providing an easy way to enjoy what in many, many years of mass tourism has been pushed into the background and almost forgotten - the Mediterranean landscape, the true beauty of the Costa del Sol.
Christiane Bürklein

Project: El Muelle Arquitectos - http://elmuelle.eu/
Location: Benalmádena, Andalusia, Spain
Year: 2014 - 2019
Images: Fernando Alda

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