Architects: Fuses i Viader
Location: Sant Feliu de Guíxols, Girona, Spain
Construction firm: COPAYBA 2000 S.L.
Collaborators: Carla Arruebo, Pilar Arbonés, Dolors Bosch, Silvina Mayer, Josep Ribes, Jordi Serra
Photographs: Duccio Malagamba
Our proposal is the result of attentive observation of the privileged scenic conditions of the site. We believe that the new Yacht Club has to solve, above and beyond the required functional programme, two aspects that we consider basic:
1. To restore the site to its “natural” condition prior to the implantation of the mediocre and badly-located constructions existing there now. This involves exploiting to the full the views of the strikingly beautiful natural rock and the stone walls that accompany it.
2. To order the movements of pedestrians all around the sector. This intersection will unite all the works included in the Special Plan, once they are completed: the circulation between the boats and the club; the circulation from the new commercial zone to the breakwater; and finally the scenic circulation between the breakwater, the lower areas of the harbour and the new shore walk. Consequently, the new building should encourage and enable these three circulatory flows present in the zone.
In addition, we believe that the new arrangement has to take into account the existence of the upper platform, situated at level +10.70 m, a flat, clean space with exceptional views, quite the opposite to the current ground and first floors, located around level +4 – 5 m and with ground-level views. These 6 metres of difference (two storeys) are significant enough to provide splendid panoramic views over the harbour and the town of Sant Feliu in a westerly direction, and also to enjoy the fascinating rocky landscape located behind the esplanade, towards the sea.
On the basis of these premises, we propose a building that is split into two parts, located at levels 3.80 and 10.50 respectively. It is not a compact, self-enclosed building as the rules of the tender seemed to request, but one with a freer layout which, respecting the scenic surroundings, seeks a dialogue with them while solving the problematic meeting between the wharf and the beginning of the adjacent cliffs. With the separation of the two levels, then, we seek to make the new building “disappear.”
The lower part comes to form part of the system of concrete platforms of the wharf itself, and prolongs it to connect with the new shore walk. A large longitudinal opening beneath a concrete structure functionally separates and privatises the entrance to the club and the harbour services with regard to the entrance square and at the same time contributes to disguising its volumetric presence.
The upper part, resting on a base of reddish rock similar to that of the existing walls, is integrated into the surrounding landscape as if it were one more of the cliffs, with only the continuous line of windows protruding from it to provide views from the Club’s social hall and restaurant to the harbour and the town. The placing of the social hall and restaurant and terraces on this level, in addition to allowing these exceptional views, also provides an opening-out towards the large closed space that is formed by the existing platform and makes it possible to organise, as specified in the rules, an exceptional space adjoining the Club, with the rocks as a backdrop. To close this space, a small pine grove is established beside the upper entrance to the club.
The two floors are connected by a continuous stairway of four flights, which, descending from the social hall following the existing walls, gives direct views over the wharf and the open sea, and also by a panoramic exterior lift that connects the reception with the bar and restaurant.