The city of Estepona has undergone a transformation in recent years that will be complemented by the construction of a sociocultural center that will open the town to the sea, whose iconic character will be represented in a tower that will house a vertical library overlooking the Mediterranean and the Strait of Gibraltar.
The winning architect of the public competition developed by the City Council of the town has been the reputed Malaga architect Salvador Moreno Peralta, National Urban Planning Award, which has been in charge of drafting the project of urbanization of the environment and sociocultural equipment, which will be of a public nature, as detailed by the professional in the act of laying the first stone, which took place on December 2.
Thus, the sociocultural equipment would be built in a Privileged space located on the beachfront, next to the promenade and annex to the marina on an area of 15,000 square meters, which is included in the local investment plan and will have a municipal amount of 14.5 million euros for its development.
The project will create a large public space that will generate a balcony towards the Mediterranean and which will include a socio-cultural facility and a shopping and restaurant area on Avenida de España, next to the Lighthouse. Thus, will integrate this privileged enclave with the remodeled urban center putting in value one of the main axes of the municipality and allowing the opening of the city to the sea, generating a new focus of tourist attraction in line with the project ‘Estepona, Garden of the Costa del Sol’.
The works for the execution of the equipment began on September 28 of this year and the forecast of the City Council is that end in the first quarter of 2023. After the completion of the cleaning and adaptation of the land that has been developed under the road’s slope, the works will focus during the next two months on the foundation of the structure that will be executed on the plot.
The initiative contemplates the creation of a large open pedestrian area in front of the Pescadores neighborhood, with public squares and staggered parks between the avenue and the current promenade, connecting with the port from La Rada beach and through the El Faro gardens. All this, with a continuous balcony towards the sea and the immediate beach of La Rada.
The project will be developed under the slope of the avenue España, taking advantage of the great unevenness to the promenade and the beach, thus connecting the city with the sea and locating in this location the commercial and restaurant premises.
On the roof of the building, which will be at the level of the avenue, a large open pedestrian zone will be generated which will have as a reference a lookout tower over the Mediterranean Sea. The fact that this pedestrian area is elevated gives it a special presence, since it is one of the elements that determines the quality of the area where it is located, providing a walkway as a balcony to the sea.
The future sociocultural complex will have several elements, highlighting a conservatory with which a “regulated musical education”In the city and that will be made available to the Junta de Andalucía, with which the Consistory is already dealing with “the teaching load”, as advanced by the mayor, José María García Urbano in the act of laying the first stone.
Likewise, it will house “a first-rate exhibition space with windows open to the sea and a vertical library“, Being” the essence of this facility its public and sociocultural nature, “stressed the councilor.
The architect Salvador Moreno Peralta highlighted during the event the “metropolitan” scope of the project, just like him iconic landmark that the tower will represent, which at first was considered as “a kind of viewpoint and symbol of that space of urban and metropolitan centrality”, but to which we have tried to value all the advantages that a vertical library allows and will be installed in it ” which will also serve as a lookout point.
The idea is architecturally “a challenge” and a “singularity factor”, highlighted the expert who advanced that the tower “It will be covered with a special material, vinyl, acrylic and malleable polyester.e, which has a great and magnificent behavior against UVA rays and heat and leaves a great transparency from the inside to the outside and a certain opacity from the outside to the inside ”.
With this, it is achieved that “In the 12 floors that this library will have it is going to be able always be seeing the sea and the Strait of Gibraltar. It is something that is quite suggestive a priori so that architecturally we do not give it the adequate answer “, he said.
With respect to commercial space, Moreno Peralta explained that initially “it occupied on two floors the entire stela that goes to the east, towards La Nave street”, being “a strip 14 meters deep up to the area of the maritime-terrestrial public domain” and that now “It has only one commercial floor because the entire upper part is a multipurpose exhibition space”.
“All this is arranged at an intermediate point, at a central point, which coincides with the north-south axis of the Plaza de la Virgen del Carmen, where the Fishermen’s Guild and the Church are, and there precisely in that point of confluence is where the tower starts ”, added.
The sociocultural center project will thus integrate various areas of the city scattered through this multi-level land that has remained in disuse for years, despite its privileged location in front of the sea, and that the Estepona City Council will allocate for the enjoyment of citizens. Architecturally, it seeks to give “continuity” with a treatment similar to that of the promenade, assembling the entire Estepona coastline, the architect highlighted.
The public facilities will also have car parks to provide service ”to the municipal building, which is focused as a tourist emblem that can be accessed to make use of the viewpoint that this future vertical library will mean, the views of which will be enjoyed by both its users and those who circulate in the area.
The large pedestrian zone that will be created with the cultural initiative will connect with the project ‘Estepona, Garden of the Costa del Sol’, that it has achieved the restriction of road traffic in more than 18 linear kilometers corresponding to 130 roads, which have been renovated in all its infrastructures and services; as well as embellished, highlighting its Andalusian character. This project has been a new model of the city, sustainable and committed to quality of life, which is reinforced and enhanced with this new urban action next to the port of Estepona.