Ferrater in Benidorm: “I was lucky to convince with my proposal for Poniente, and a decade later it remains valid”

The models of Paseo de Poniente in Benidorm have been exhibited at Pompidou Center and MOMA
Ferrater in Benidorm: “I was lucky to convince with my proposal for Poniente, and a decade later it remains valid”.
Ferrater in Benidorm: “I was lucky to convince with my proposal for Poniente, and a decade later it remains valid”.

In the second session 'Benidorm, a vision' organized by Benidorm City Council on the occasion of the Architecture Week, in collaboration with the Territorial College of Architects of Alicante, the architect Carlos Ferrater has lectured on the projection of his work and the vitality of Paseo de Poniente that, a decade later, "would not change anything because it has fulfilled all its objectives."

Ferrater invited architecture professionals and neighbors who, together with members of the corporation, attended the scheduled conference. The 2009 National Architecture Prize began by highlighting that "I was lucky to convince with my proposal" ,and analyzing it a decade later "remains valid."

He defended the urbanism of Benidorm and the urban model implemented by proclaiming that "Benidorm is the most sustainable urbanistic place in the Mediterranean and probably in the world" and expressing his satisfaction for having left his mark "in a city that occupies very little territory and has not sealed".

He spoke vehemently about the importance of the maritime fronts of the cities and said that "they are nothing if they do not have an entire city behind" placing Benidorm in the urban complex of Barcelona, ​​Tel Aviv, Tunisia or Copacabana / Rio de Janeiro.

And he spoke about Paseo de Poniente in Benidorm as “evolution of the mesh” and its process of genesis for the Botanic of Barcelona and the step forward on the forms of Euclidean geometry to organic forms. He narrated the process "pencil and cutter to configure the shapes" of the walk inspired "in the anatomy of the arm, by Leonardo da Vinci" seeking that besides being passable "it was a place of relationship and contemplation between the natural, the beach and the sea , and the artificial, the city: a space that plays with the forms of nature ”.

He explained the way of choosing the materials, all related to the territory “seeking to attend the cultural tradition of Benidorm and its surroundings” and explained that the walk itself “is like a twelve-centimeter shell of white concrete, flexible and extraordinarily resistant coated in ceramic surface, which evolves and interacts with the environment ”. It encloses a gallery of services that he never saw, he said, as parking because, he insisted: "If the vehicle was not there a problem, why take it?"

He explained that aerodynamic tests were done to study the behavior of the new front and even sand balance during its construction.

Ferrater confessed to feel very proud of this walk, for which he has ideas about its continuity to the Paseo tamarindos, concluding with his satisfaction “for this reflection ten years later.

Toni Pérez, thanked the architect's reflections and recalled the construction process at a stage in which he was spokesman for the Government team and González de Zárate Councilor for Urban Planning; the reactions of the neighbors, before and after, and the reality of it that at the moment is "the main incentive of Poniente area" and that over the years has given attractiveness and functionality to the environment. The mayor referred to the comments at the time about being able to see the sea from the terraces when there were parking lots, four lanes, with hedge between them and a solid railing topping the whole against today's reality “of a bike lane , another road traffic and an open promenade that only limits a thin railing ”that Ferrater baptized as a“ harp model ”.

Carlos Ferrater said that one of the greatest achievements of his career and which he feels most proud of is the ‘Medal of the City of Benidorm’ because it comes from citizen groups and from the City Hall.

Prior to the conference, the municipal architect José Luís Camarasa, an active collaborator of Ferrater and Xavier Martí from the beginning of the project, served as a guide architect in a visit of collegiate architects of the Territorial College of Alicante both to Paseo de Poniente and to the 4th floor of the Benidorm town hall where the departments of the Planning and Engineering departments are located as well as the Smart Office, whose operation they met during the visit.

The College of Architects is going to bet on these illustrative visits to the architectural value of Benidorm, the Councilor Lourdes Caselles confirmed.