For years, the Benidorm urban development model has been criticised for encouraging high-rise buildings, overcrowding and land speculation. Yet, in contrast with different tourist resorts, where the coastline is systematically being destroyed by invasive residential complexes, and where immense ghost towns are empty most of the year, fifty years after its inception, the Benidorm model might in fact turn out to be the most sustainable one on the Spanish coast. It occupies very little land and there is virtually no use of private transport as every point in town is only a 10-minute walk away from the beach.
For the invitation-only design competition for the West Beach promenade, Carlos Ferrater created a large, public leisure space that brought the town into direct contact with the sea and provided a new seaside promenade for residents and tourists. Now Benidorm has a natural space built using a sustainable approach that fuses technology and craftwork, and accentuates local materials under the shadows and lights of the Mediterranean.