News December, 28th 2013 by

Marbella’s head for heights


Spain-Marbella-waterfront-beachMarbella Council’s approval of a limited number of sensitively located, elegantly designed skyscrapers is one of the most progressive local policy decisions I’ve heard in a long time.

Economics: Land is a premium in the town, and with roads, river basins, the coastline and airspace remaining unaffected by the plans, surely it makes economic and environmental sense to concentrate as high a population as is comfortably possible on the fewest hectares by selectively building up? As well as kick-starting this niche sector of the construction industry, it preserves the greater part of the surrounding natural landscape.

Aesthetics: The model shown in SUR in English (20-26/12/13) looks stylish and tastefully positioned surrounded by plenty of open space with minimal disturbance to the wider landscape. Assuming the five selected sites feature similarly positioned towers, the planners and architects will be obliged to prioritise ‘the look and feel’ of each building to reflect Marbella’s dynamism, modernity and traditions.

Environment: Advances in green design and sustainable building technologies ensure the highest environmental standards are built-in from the start and rigorously applied throughout every stage of the construction process, complying with industry-recognised standards such as LEED, Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design.

Residents: Tower blocks blight some people’s view and adapting to a new structure interrupting one’s line of vision takes time. However, since the council has the right to build 2-3 storey social houses on the land – even following the much-admired garden city model – height and obscured views would still be issues for some. Given opportunities to be heard, communities often take ownership of the structure they initially reviled, taking pride identifying it within their neighbourhood. Having had the pleasure of living and working in some of London’s tallest tower blocks, I now live on the tenth floor and highly recommend it.

Tourists: Some of the world’s tallest residential and commercial towers have become powerful international status symbols and landmark stops on sightseeing tours – London, Dubai and Mumbai stand out. The new skyscrapers would generate heaps of global media interest, further cementing Marbella’s reputation as a destination of distinction.

Fuengirola sunrise © Chris Dove

Fuengirola sunrise © Chris Dove


Chris Dove

(BA Hons Economics), international business writer and editorial director, Pro Write and Edit.

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