Guallart Architects



With Ángel Gijón

1st prize national competition

Motril, capital of the Costa Tropical area, in the province of Granada, is experiencing a major process of urban development as a result of its strategic geographical location on the Mediterranean coast between Málaga and Almería. Its role as the port of Granada, its position between the sea and the mountains, and the arrival of the Autovía del Mediterráneo motorway make the town a key site for the development of the region.

In the case of the MOT-3 project addressed by the present Plan, this is a key site for the development of the town. In its configuration, Motril gives a very clear message in terms of the models of urban growth that it wishes to promote, and especially with regard to the relationship between the population nuclei and the surrounding natural environment. This relationship between growth and interaction with the environment is the key issue to be resolved by urban planning at the start of the 21st century.

Concentric Growth or Radial Permeability

MOT-3 poses the choice between concentric growth and radial permeability on the northern edge of Motril. The approved general plan posited that a large environmentally protected area should be created between the port and the urban nucleus in the form of a sugar cane plantation and a park route. This large-scale green facility connects up with the town’s Parque de los Pueblos de América and the Rambla de los Álamos avenue, which runs east to the sports centre and the municipal cemetery.

The MOT-3 sector is capable of opening up the town to the north, to the hills and the Sierra, reproducing in a symmetrical (but initially on a smaller scale) the environmental sugar cane plantation and giving concrete physical form to the sea-Motril-mountain environmental relationship.

The scheme thus identifies the opportunity to transform the green zones of a residential sector into a park, which would become the town’s primary network, thereby benefiting at the local scale the residents of the new neighbourhoods adjoining this major amenity, and at the global scale benefiting the municipality as a whole by ensuring its openness to the natural networks around it.

Transfer of Traces

In the light of the foregoing reflections the design team decided to transfer the traces of the existing paths and plots and conserve the open spaces in their present state.

This is the basis not only for an environmental continuity in the territory, but also for a cultural continuity, in preserving the lines of tracks that in many cases date from ancient times and —small though they are— have served to structure the use of the territory.


Project date:2007
Client: Empresa pública del suelo de Andalucía
Site: Motril, Granada
Architecture: UTE Guallart architects & Angel Gijón
Collaborators: Marian Albarrán, Ana Cabellos, Marta Vélez, Andrea Imaz, Rainer Goldstein, Fernando Meneses, Daniela Frogheri
Engineering: Grupo Medina
Environment and landscape: Gestión Técnica Medioambiental
Urbanist lawyer: José Antonio Martín Estebané
Model: Fabián Asunción, Rafael DeMontard, Salvador Gil
Photography of the model: Adrià Goula