This will be the Alicante congress center: a 'fortress' by the sea and an office tower

"I love it," said Mayor Luis Barcala.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
22 April 2024 Monday 04:56
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This will be the Alicante congress center: a 'fortress' by the sea and an office tower

"I love it," said Mayor Luis Barcala. "It exceeds my expectations," commented the president of the Port Authority, Luis Rodríguez. "Transform a port space into the next icon of the city of Alicante," said Toni Pérez, president of the Provincial Council. A jury of six architects has chosen among 121 projects the work of Frade Arquitectos (Madrid), presented under the motto 'San Carlos', in memory of the missing defensive bastion that was built near the chosen location in 1691.

Rafael Pérez, architect of the Provincial Council and one of the members of the jury, has described the building as a kind of "fortress", which will occupy the congress center itself, which links through an area initially dedicated to parking with a tower reminiscent of the defensive towers on the coast and which will occupy the offices.

The project - awarded 108,900 euros - meets, according to Rafael Pérez, the three fundamental premises that the competition required: "that it function as a conference center, that it fits within the budget available, and that it be an image that remains in the retina, may it have strength".

Built on an area of ​​26,000 square meters, of which 18,000 will correspond to the building, on docks 7 and 9, in the Poniente area of ​​the port of Alicante, the congress center will have an auditorium with capacity for 2,000 people, another for 500 and a conference room for 300 attendees, as well as a parking lot that can fit about 300 vehicles. Likewise, it will have an exhibition area, offices, multipurpose room and press room.

The design is the work of architect Juan Pablo Rodríguez Frade, representing the UTE Frade Arquitectos SL-Luca Poian Forms Limited- Prointec, S.A.U, of Madrid. The jury has unanimously chosen it among 121 projects from all over the world.

According to the jury's minutes, the winning proposal valued “the resounding and emblematic character of a project with a high degree of abstraction that establishes an interesting relationship between the sea and the city. The proposal offers a high-quality interior space that is very attractive for the development of the proposed activities. “The visual relationship with the sea from the main interior spaces is also valued.”

The first prize is worth 108,900 euros and the winning studio will subsequently be in charge of drafting the execution and construction management project for an amount of 8.1 million euros.

The second prize, with a prize of 72,600 euros, went to the project 'Eloquent Silences' by Javier de las Heras Solé (85 points); the third, with 48,400 euros, for 'Cuatro picos' by Mª del Mar Goberna Pérez with the UTE PA-GmásP (63 points), and the two runners-up, with 18,150 each and 61 points both, for the preliminary projects with the mottos ' The Beach' and 'Naia'.

Once the jury's ruling is known - which last week closed the deliberations after several months of study and evaluation of the 121 proposals admitted -, the agreement will be taken to the plenary session of the Provincial Council for approval on May 8, as has been advanced President Toni Pérez.

Subsequently, the winning preliminary project will be sent to the Alicante City Council, who in turn will request the Port Authority to adapt the Special Port Plan for the execution of this infrastructure, which will be located between docks 9 and 7 and whose estimated cost is 65 million euros.

Mayor Luis Barcala, who has specified that the winning design reminds him of the San José tower on the island of Tabarca and the towers of the orchard of Alicante, has highlighted that with this project "the proposed objective of generating a landmark is met , a postcard that from the port of Alicante projects us as a model of an advanced, cosmopolitan, welcoming city that perfectly integrates the sea and the land.” “This building will be iconic and will help us relaunch conference tourism and continue transforming the city,” added Barcala.