Client: Costa del Sprawl International Ideas Competition
Status: Competition (2016)
Clasification: 1 prize
Location: Marbella, Spain
Climate: Temperate, Mediterranean
Scale: 1.062 ㎡ Medium
Types: Mortuary, Refurbishment, Religious, Religious center
«Spain’s Costa del Sol has been permanently transformed by the construction boom of the late 20th and early 21st century and its abrupt end with the European financial crisis. Inward looking private residential complexes and commercial facilities sprawl incoherently to form communities inhabited predominantly by immigrants from Northern Europe. The financial crisis brought almost all construction to an abrupt halt.» – Costa del Sprawl, Competition Briefing. The competition was aiming for a new idea to rearrange an abandoned structure at the edge of one of the Costa del Sol’s urbanizations. The antithesis of an unfinished building located in a place where success was once felt – where people would want to stay for an enjoyable time – was the starting point of an idea to re-appropriate the concrete ruin in Costa del Sol.
According to these two moments, we proposed a crematorium, whose program, with two opposite realities, embodies the celebration of a prosperous life and the difficult times, or ‘the boom’ and ‘the crash’. The configuration of the existing walls and columns allows, nevertheless, the preservation of a peaceful environment. The organization of the spaces was lightly approached, where the symmetry of the general composition had an important role to help the projects decisions. The entrance is found in the midpoint of the north facade, where it is possible to access the exterior space composed by a large pond of water in between the two lines of columns, and it also separates the technical area from the common/ceremonies area.
Each wing has a corridor that distributes to the various compartments, whose endpoints are apparently similar but quite different. These two elements that rise from the landscape draw attention to this forgotten place, as if the new design works in favor of the previous setting, since a seemingly dull structure doesn’t preclude an interesting project. The new architecture should take care of places with such decay, which at the same time shine tranquility, by giving them a new life.