Among the multiple locations and possible hotel typologies, we choose to work in the city of Benidorm and develop a hotel tower for a ideas competition. A real place, although radical and dramatic, capable of welcoming thousands of tourists at once, offering a number of hotel beds like few other places in the world.
A unique city that unwittingly has become a paradigm of sustainable architectural development, thanks to betting on density, avoiding devouring territory, saving distances in travel, concentrating and making the facilities more efficient … In short, grouping hundreds of thousands of people in a small space and at the same time offering them a wide range of leisure and variety of ways of living, starting with a wide range of hotels and leisure for all audiences and social classes.
Benidorm has many lovers as detractors, and that is just one more symptom of its radicality. It can not leave you indifferent, it is not just another holiday city anymore.
We want to take advantage of this peculiar location and the experimental nature that we understand must have any ideas competition that prides itself on proposing an architectural game: explore the plastic possibilities of ceramic materials imagining that we built an exclusive hotel right on the small island in front of the beaches and skyscrapers of Benidorm. A point visible from everywhere, a fabulous location, where everyone sees you and where you can see everyone.
The hotel typology could not be other: a tower!, of course, we are in Benidorm.
The island of Benidorm stands out as the only point visible from anywhere in the city with views of the sea. It is the constant visual reference that you can not stop looking unconsciously when your eyes relaxes trying to get lost in the blue horizon of the Mediterranean Sea.
It is the ideal place to locate our tower, making everyone see it and want to visit it. A claim undoubtedly irresistible for tourists. Look! I want to go there!
The island, from the coast, is tilted to one side, as if it were sinking into the sea, for that reason and because of the great importance of the visual perspective in the chosen location, we propose that it is precisely the island + tower combination and the way of perceiving it from the coast, the starting point to define the shape of our building.
We designed the hotel as a large triangle that compensates for the inclination of the island’s rock, making the whole complex visually complete. Our building now looks like a big sail beached next to the island of Benidorm, as if a giant ship had been frozen when trying to approach the coast.
The tower does not pretend to be an excessive architectural boast with impossible or utopian forms that can detract credibility from the proposal, its form is simple, a large pyramid with a rhomboidal base, which we could easily imagine how to solve its structure and execution, starting from the nucleus of vertical communications located in the part that reaches more height.
That simplicity also helps to relate us to your chosen context. Benidorm is not Tokyo or Dubai, where the towers compete in exaggerated formalisms. The buildings of Benidorm are formally more discreet and open, the terraces and the enjoyment of the breeze of the Mediterranean, cross ventilation to avoid the discomfort that produces the high humidity typical of the Spanish east coast. This defines without a doubt how the architecture has to be in this place .
Our tower tries to adapt to the environment like the rest of the buildings that look at it curiously from the coast, it does not want to be very different from them.
To implement the climatic efficiency of the hotel, we propose a double façade in latticework that will allow to reduce considerably the direct incidence of the sun in the rooms.
The double skin generates a terraced environment between the room and the exterior that is ideal to live in the humid and warm climate in which we are working. This space serves as a visor to the room itself, causing no sun to enter directly, and sifting the light through the large latticework of the façade.
This lattice will allow a circulation of air around the building to be created so that it can self-ventilate and cool down considerably reducing consumption in air conditioning. Being apart a very aesthetic element that will give personality to the interior of the hotel.
The rooms are also arranged in such a way that ventilation through the corridor is promoted through them, thanks to the design of the building in the form of an open book, which will always allow an efficient and natural combating of the humidity problem by using passive architecture elements that do not consume energy.
For interiors we have looked for elegant solutions with a certain futuristic and innovative touch. Instead of focusing on the design of a single space as suggested by the contest rules, we extend the possibilities of ceramic materials to all significant areas of the building.
Despite the variety of spaces, and solutions, we have nevertheless been able to maintain a chromatic line of serious and elegant appearance, combining the colors and finishes suitable for each place. Sometimes with more fun solutions like in the hotel room, a more intimate space where there is no need to keep the forms, and other times more serious as in the reception, where you have to give a good first image of professionalism.