The Mirador is an attractive lookout point that takes a harmonious place on the skyline of the historic city of Elche. With the nearby Basilica Santa Maria 35 meters high, at 50 meters the tower can oversee the entire World Heritage site of southern Palmeral in the tradition of a campanile. The viewing platform on the top can host small events, a concert or a party. The structure is poetic and light, with a fluent and continuous structural system giving the tower a unique and elegant silhouette
Elche in Spain is an UNESCO World Heritage site for its formal plantations of fig palms that stretch throughout the city; vast groves that date back centuries and use early examples of organized irigigation systems. For a small city like Elche the number of tall buildings is remarkable. Unfortunately many of them are no longer in use. The remaining towers of the Arabic defense system are abandoned, while other high up viewpoints are locatedaround the city. In addition to this, a numberof chimneys from the early industrial era remain, though abandoned.
By reviving the old towers and giving them new program the city center can again be surrounded by viewpoints. The towers can also hold program that fits the immediate surroundings and serves to link it to the inhabitants of Elche besides being a tourist attraction. So a chain of towers can be identified, allowing a series of different views. The new viewpoint, The Torre de la Palma, is the central node in this chain of towers. A city walk starts and ends here. The Palmeral therefore, will be visible in all its grandeur. And vice versa, the remarkable structure can be seen from afar and announces the Palmeral of Elche.
The tower, which is inspired by the trunks of the great palms that surround it, will be built up as a steel structure, cladd with anodized aluminium sheets. The gold like color even matches the palm trunks. The stairs inside are color-coated steel and the terrace could have a wooden parquet floor in the same pattern as the woven structure.
During the day one can easily identify the silhouette of Elche's new icon. The intense sun of southern Spain makes the anozided aluminium shimmer and shine like a jewel. Around sunset the program within the tower will start to stand out more with their interior lights. At night time though the silhouette will be inversed. The structure will be lit from the inside over the full height so it will glow like a lantern. The fireworks that close of the towns annual events will of course be held on top of the Torre de la Palma.
At the foot of the tower there is Plaza de la Palma, connecting to the Boulevard de la Palma (previously the "Avenida de la Estacion"). This area could be turned into a pedestrian area linking the plaza of the Palace and the pedestrian area around the Basilica Santa Maria.
In the future this area could be even much larger, stretching over the historic city center. It would free the narrow streets from the numerous cars that currently clog them. The existing parking lot next to the site would be a perfect location for a outdoor bazaar, bike rentals or a market. The parking could be relocated underground in order to open up the prime location for public use.
- Principal in charge
- Design team