(1984) Benabola Resort Hotel

client : Saudi Bank & Kirwan Expaniola
typology : Hospitality & Residential
services : Planning, Advisory, Architecture, Interior Design
where : Puerto Banus, Marbella, Spain

VIDEO: https://www.instagram.com/p/CF2FRmDnzaY/
VIDEO: https://youtu.be/OrulTPk6uOo
Retrospective 1981-1990 video: https://www.instagram.com/tv/CPxSImAji4m/

This popular hotel resort destination is located in the historic Puerto Banús district of Marbella and occupies a breathtaking position along the waterfront and Torre del Duque beach. 280 spacious guestrooms and suites, including serviced timeshare apartments, occupy the upper 6 levels and 15,000 sqm with 78 commercial outlets occupy the ground floor along the main central boulevard that divides the property in a north-south axis arrangement, including an 800 undergroud parking facility.The massing solution was made with the intention of maximizing guestroom views of the mountains, sea and port. Beachfront restaurants provide activities throughout the day within immediate proximity to the 16th Century Torre del Duque Fort.

The sun, the sea, the dark sand and Benabola of Puerto Banus; this place is small enough to be a home and large enough to be a village.

Benabola is located few kilometers away from Marbella and occupies a prominent position along the waterfront and Torre del Duque beach. It stretches from the main street all the way to the sea and acts as a central urban hub between the sandy beaches to its right and the Marina to its left. It has 78 commercial outlets on the ground floor and 252 apartments on the upper floors available for rent according to a ‘hotel formula’ throughout the year. Most of the shops cater for the large tourist flux in form of restaurants, car rental, grocery stores and others. Apartments are distributed in the above floors in what seems to be an organic growth of a traditional Andalusian village. They all enjoy panoramic views of the Mediterranean and the nearby Rocky Mountains, either through their large terraces or the arched widows and openings.

The unique character of Benabola lies in its micro urban structure. It has a middle street or promenade that is at the same time a mall, a piazza, a path and a terrace overlooking the sea. It stretches from north to south, in a way that highlights the direction of the complex. It allows all apartments clear and open views of the mountains, the sea and the port. It is animated by intruding parts of the buildings, trees, pergolas and resting areas, restaurants and extension alleys.

Those alleys, complementing the main promenade, are what make Benabola a small village. They are located on both sides of the middle path and they serve several ends. They link the centre of the project to the adjoining areas (the beach and the Marina). They provide within them individual and independent gates to the various apartment blocks, and they form visual transparency on the ground floor. Every alleyway is different than the other. Some are straight and tunnel-like, some have steps of red brick that contrast with the white walls, and others have openings all the way to the roof for a strong natural light washing over the white walls. They all have different versions of Andalusian detailing of doors, gates and entrances.

Benabola is built of concrete and Bricks. All walls are rendered and painted in white. Gates, doors and windows are painted in yellow and some parts are ornamented in a typical Andalusian character using glazed blue mosaic. The roof is of light red terra cotta tiles carrying bold shapes of yellow painted chimneys. Greenery and colorful plants hang from different balconies and contrast beautifully with the white facades. The place is a home, a village a playground and a lively environment of white, yellow and blue.