Game with the horizon

Among the multiple locations and types of hotel possible, you choose to work in the city of Benidorm and develop a hotel in height. A real place, although radical and dramatic, capable of welcoming thousands of tourists at the same time, 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 displacements, concentrating and thus making 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 a variety of ways to live it, starting with a wide range of hotel and leisure options for all audiences and social classes.

Benidorm has as many lovers as detractors, and that is just one more symptom of its radicalism. It can’t leave you indifferent, it’s not a city anymore.

We want to take advantage of this peculiar location and the experimental character that we understand should have every contest of ideas that is worthwhile to propose an architectural game: let’s explore the plastic possibilities of ceramic materials imagining that we build an exclusive hotel right on the small island that faces the Benidorm’s beaches and skyscrapers. A visible point from everywhere, a fabulous location, where everyone sees you and from where you can see everyone.

The type of hotel could not be other: a tower! Of course, we are in Benidorm.

The island of Benidorm stands out as the only visible point from anywhere in the city overlooking the sea. It is the constant visual reference that you cannot stop looking unconsciously when your visit relaxes trying to get lost in the blue horizon of the Mediterranean.

It is the ideal place to place our tower, making everyone see it and want to go visit it. A claim undoubtedly irresistible to tourists. Look! I want to go there!

The island, from the coast, is tilted to the 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 visually complete and complete. Our building now looks like a large beached sail next to the island of Benidorm, as if a giant ship had been frozen while trying to approach the coast.

The tower is not intended as an excessive architectural display with impossible or utopian forms that can reduce credibility to the proposal, its shape is simple, a large pyramid with a rhomboid base, which we could easily imagine how to solve its structure and execution, starting from the core of Vertical communications located in the part that reaches more height.

That simplicity also helps to relate from you to you with your chosen context. Benidorm is not Tokyo or Dubai, where the towers compete in exaggerated formalisms. The buildings of Benidorm are more formally discreet and open, the terraces and the enjoyment of the Mediterranean breeze, the cross ventilation to avoid the discomfort produced by the great ambient humidity typical of the east undoubtedly defines how the architecture has to be in this place.

Our tower aims to adapt to the environment like the rest of the buildings that look curious from the coast, does not want to be very different from them.

To implement the climatic efficiency of the hotel, apart from betting on density as a strategy through the type of tower and choosing an environment that, thanks to allowing the building at height, saves a lot of territory, circulation, networks of more concentrated facilities, etc. We propose a double lattice facade that will reduce the direct incidence of the sun in the rooms considerably.

The double skin generates a terraced area 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 direct sunlight, and sifting the light through the large facade lattice.

This lattice will allow the creation of an air circulation around the building so that it can be self-ventilated and cooled, considerably reducing air conditioning consumption. Being a very aesthetic element that will give personality to the interior of the hotel.

The rooms are also arranged in a way that favors curved ventilation through them towards the corridor, thanks to the design of the building in the form of an open book, which will always allow to efficiently and naturally combat the problem of moisture through methods liabilities that do not consume energy.

For the interiors we have looked for elegant solutions and with a 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 Matimex materials to all significant areas of the building.

Despite the variety of spaces and solutions, we have nevertheless been able to maintain a serious and elegant color line, 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 reason to keep the forms, and other times more serious as in the reception, where you have to give a good first image of professionalism.

  • Honours and Awards: Finalist of the Matimex International Architecture Award.
  • Status: Competition.
  • Project Year: 2015.
  • Location: Benidorm, Spain.
  • Surface: 24,520 m2.
  • Design: OOIIO Architecture.
  • Team: Joaquín Millán Villamuelas, Ivana Mihaljevich, Denitsa Dimitrieva, Kraujutyte Route.
  • Client: Matimex.