Palamos Beach Hotel
This design concept was completed as part of an international competition for a beach hotel. The objective of the competition was to create a modern and innovative building that is luxurious without ostentation and connects gracefully with its natural and social context.
Hage’s proposal retains the structure of the existing hotel as well as the building – La República – to the rear of the site. His scheme reinvents the old hotel by recladding its frame in a new skin of sawn driftwood panels. The re-used envelope will become a café restaurant on the ground floor, guest suites on the first and second floors and a restaurant/club terrace above.
Pragmatically, the retention of the old structure on the seafront circumvents the planning regulation that requires any new building to be set further back from the shoreline. The retention of the footprint also reinforces the resort’s historic beach frontage, with its public café on the promenade.
Behind, a new structure of steel framed boxes clad in varnished marine ply are stacked above and around existing features including La República and an existing mature tree, to form further hotel accommodation. The rooms at first and second floor are double height luxury living suites, with mezzanine sleeping levels above self-catering kitchens.
The most striking feature of these units are the giant hinged screens that open like petals to afford views down to the sea from each suite; alternatively, these can be closed against the glare of the sun.
Retaining the existing site features adds both literal and historical texture to the proposal. The stacked plywood boxes hang above La República like the jettied stories of historic timber buildings. Below, the survival of the traditional building offers resonance of a different kind – it was at one time the neighbourhood’s brothel.
On the western side, the new building wraps itself around an existing tree at the cost of two extra bedrooms; one member of the jury thought that the tree we are preserving is the most expensive tree in Europe! For Hage, the floor space lost through this act of conservation is clearly justified by the value of the site’s ecology and rooted spirit of place.
The elegant rooftop swimming pool is glimpsed in the northeastern view of the hotel, a major arrival point into the resort, affording travellers from inland their first site of blue water, and a foretaste of the beach beyond.
A row of five cabins or beach huts sits on the lane, directly accessible for local people using the beach daily throughout the season. Their presence extends beach life inland for this family resort. Text © Rough Luxe 2011.