Torremolinos is one of the most saturated tourist towns on the Mediterranean coast. However, the urban overcrowding has not managed to completely turn off its attractiveness, thanks to the fact that the spirit of a mythical past still lingers in the mind of its citizens. Its traditional resources remain intact: climate, sun, beaches, hotels, the proximity to the airport or the gastronomy of La Carihuela. But the goal is to achieve an advantageous position in the tourist global markets. Therefore it is necessary to provide a new identity to the urban space to erase the vulgarity and the anonymity it has. The City Council of Torremolinos proposes the Urban Renovation of the Historical City Centre of the town –it has a 50 years history– with the pedestrianize of the Costa del Sol Plaza and Palma de Mallorca Avenue. During the 60s, Torremolinos was an oasis of freedom and the memory of its tranquility and creativity still remains.
We believed that the project should have that creativity, but at the same time it should be blunt as a declaration of principles that announces the public commitment to unleash a comprehensive urban regeneration program. As such, it should be unitary, but also diverse because of the different character and the different urban perception of the elements that integrate the whole set, sometimes walk paths, sometimes square and other times, crossroads. The pavement is composed of modular stripes of white and dark gray granite, and there is a kind of pixelate of the dark gray stripes becoming white in the place of inflection as a simple way to identify them as small landmarks or squares. There is a wide linear and directional stripe, where there is an alignment of palm trees, orange trees and magnolia trees, but at its sides there are several spaces to rest with different geometry configured by benches, flowers, aromatic plants and water surfaces, where we can find sculptures of Elena Laverón.
But the most significant element is a large modular pergola extended throughout the Plaza, conceived with the multiple objective of marking the territory with its shadow, recalling the structure of a classic market whose walls were transparent and, in a risky gamble, impose its strength sculptural character about the depersonalization of the built environment. Each module, of 6x6x6 meters, consists of a covering of aluminum bars from a concave arc to another convex arc so their combination produces a ruled surface in the distance with the dynamic, but serene, effect of a sea wave. The lighting is entrusted to randomly embedded LED luminaires on the bars but provide a uniform glow under the covered area. The shelter of the pergola generates a pleasant air that stimulates the communal use for which the place already had a vocation, and the citizens seem to have quickly appropriated that space as “if it had been there forever”, which is the way to legitimize urban interventions.