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Torremolinos, main exponent of the Relax Architecture

After pioneers of Tourism on the Costa del Sol, settled in Torremolinos, between the 20s and 40s, with Hotels such as Castillo Santa Clara (1927), El Parador de Montemar 1934), La Roca (1942) and before the enormous development of international tourism, after the postwar, from the mid 50s to 60s, an interesting commitment to innovation and avant- vanguard in all areas is carrried out in Torremolinos. Our city opens up to the dynamics and fashions that were imported by foreigners, becoming a more open and cosmopolitan place than the rest of Spain. Little by little spaces are created, where happiness is generated and where the main industry is focused on entertainment.

The Relax Style was developed during to the tourism boom. Designs of constructions and furniture, differ significantly from traditional buildings. Mainly due to the use they were intended for, as they are precisely related to leisure, enjoyment and in short, to relax.

The term ‘Relax Arquitecture’ was given by the famed artist, Diego Santos in the 1980s, who published a catalogue of those buildings erected mainly for tourist purposes. The building itself already invites or predesposes the guest to perceive sensations of uniqueness, the moment he is inside. But this style also applies to furniture and decoration in general, where shapes and colors enhance the interiors. It is not an exclusive fashion, it attends to a lifestyle and especially a mood.

It is a characteristic style on the Costa del Sol, outstanding examples in Torremolinos are,: El Bazar de Aladino (1953), Pez Espada Hotel (1959) and Hotel Miami (1957) in La Carihuela.

Bazar Aladino

Bazar Aladino was designed by the architect Fernando Morilla, located on a hill that descends towards the beach, adapting the shape of the ship-building to the terrain. From a large gangway you could access from the N-340 road, now called Avenida Carlota Alessandri, the «deck» of the stranded ocean liner, which is also decorated with different elements imitating metal rivets, railings and portholes. Without doubt, a unique building, that caught the eye of many visitors over the years.

Pez Espada Hotel

The Pez Espada Hotel, designed by the architects Juan Jauregui Briales and Manuel Muñoz Monasterio, is the first modern Hotel on the Costa del Sol, a large volume facing the sea, with elements, such as a vertical cylinder shaped body, that houses the stairs and gives a great sensation of height and movement, as well as the entrance supported by columns. In the interior, playing with contrasts and round shapes, both on floors, floor and columns with outstanding ornamental details. This sets the right mood for fun and leisure, which in the bar and pool area with its curved shapes, acquire their maximum expression. Various international personalities, from famous Hollywood Stars, to Singers, Royalties and countless Tourists,who came from all over the world to the epicenter of leisure; La Costa del Sol. If you want to know more about its history, visit this blog.

Residencia Miami

The Miami Residence Hotel hides a curious history linked to Sacromonte and its well known caves. The famous flamenco dancer Lola Medina wanted to bring a piece of Granada’s essence to the Costa del Sol and built a residence in 1957, decorated by the painter Manuel Blasco, surrounded by gardens and a curious pool, shaped like a whale’s tail, later it was turned into a Hotel Residence, where you could enjoy a very original space.

Outsatnding is the Palacio de Congresos y Exposiciones de la Costa del Sol, inaugurated in 1968, (Rafael de la Hoz and Gerardo Olivares) which is a exponent of the Modern arquitecture Movement and an authentic energizing incentive of the entire Costa del Sol, since it hosted all kinds of events. Its unique spiral shell shape with an impressive hall of 6,000 m², crowned by an immense suspended lamp, providing an impressive game of symmetry and light, has been and is a splendid place to host large exhibitions and conferences of international fame.

International Style

Torremolinos in those years was a place, where the so called International Style was implemented. Functional buildings were designed using the most modern construction techniques, with cantilevers, clamping pillars on a diaphanous base and flaunting shapes. Being located on the Costa del Sol, leisure and enjoyment were the main source of inspiration, generating common spaces with suggestive pools and large green areas and equipped with all kinds of recreational elements, like minigolf, tennis courts etc. This would be the case of the residential areas: Eurosol Apartments(1963, Rafael de la Hoz and Gerardo Olivares), Nogalera (1966), Aloha Apartments (1966) and Playamar (1968), the latter projects, signed by the architect Antonio Lamela, where large terraces prevail over cantilevers with big windows to enjoy splendid views. They are not conceived as residential housing, but as spaces for leisure and holidays.

Video of @birmanblack in Instagram | Photos by Miguel Vila

Torremolinos is itself an open-air museum of tourism history, most of the mentioned sites can be visited in order to appreciate traces of this characteristic style. Although they have been renovated and adapted to the 21st century.

When visiting the Palacio de Congresos or the Royal Al-Ándalus Hotel (1959) for example, we will be surprised by the structural details and the canvases by the artist Gino Hollander, which decorate great murals when entering the Pez Espada Hotel, we can appreciate different decorative elements that will make us venture into the free and modern spirit that lived in Torremolinos in the 60s and that provided us with such international fame.

Torremolinos Tourism
Torremolinos Tourism
Browse our blog and you will discover that Torremolinos, always associated to beach and summer, is also a cultural and modern destination where you can visit places like the Botanical Garden or take a ride aboard a traditional seine.

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