RESIDENTS come together to save iconic Costa del Sol building
Standing in the La Malagueta neighbourhood since the early 1970s, an iconic block of apartments designed by urban planner Antonio Lamela has been saved from destruction by a group of residents determined to hang onto this little piece of history on the Paseo Maritimo de Melilla in Malaga. Indeed, not only will the building remain intact, but it has now been included in the General Catalogue of Andalucian Historical Heritage.
The movement to save the iconic building was begun by a resident who fell in love with it. Marina Benavides told Spanish daily Malagahoy that she first discovered the beautiful structure when she was looking to rent a flat back in 2015.
“I said I didn’t want to look anymore, that it was the one I wanted,” she said. After several years, Ms Benavides bought her apartment, and a short time later head that officials were planning to carry out serious renovation works that would compromise the original architectural integrity of the building.
Working against the clock, Ms Benavides launched a movement that ended up reaching the College of Architects, the Academy of Fine Arts of San Telmo and the Docomomo, in a bid to save her beloved building.
“We wanted people know the value of Lamela’s architecture,” she explained.
“It is true that it is an old entrance, but it has wonderful curved walls, beautiful light, a handmade floor and when they tell you that they are going to remove that to put wallpaper your soul falls to your feet,” she said.
As luck would have it, the lack of a permit delayed the start of the work on the building, which allowed Ms Benavides and her followers the time to get an initial decision from the Delegation of Culture in Malaga setting the basis for protection.
Daniel Rincón, an architect and member of the board of the College of Architects, said:
“What happened is very satisfactory but this should serve as a lesson to all of us. When a part of our heritage is destroyed it is in part because as a group we have not done our job well; we should have the ability to communicate the value of certain buildings and perhaps it is something that we do not do enough,” he added.