ArchitectsJ/T ARDÉVOLS S.L. Ton Ardèvol
LocationCadaqués, Girona, Spain
Landscape ArchitectsMartí Franch
Collaborators EMFMarta Bianchi, Monica Batalla, Adrià Alvarez, Gemma Batllori, , Claudia Gomes, Anna Lopez, Luis Ochoa, Emily Rivers, Mercè Solé, Céderic Paumier
Collaborators ArdèvolsRaul Álvarez, Cristina Carmona
Commission: Ministerio de Medio Ambiente, Medio Rural y Marino. Generalitat de Catalunya.
Total Area90 ha
In 1960, Club Med was constructed on the eastern tip of the Iberian Peninsula in one of the windiest and most northern exposed corners of the nation. Club Med was constructed as a private holiday village with 400 rooms that accommodated around 900 visitors in summertime. Life at Club Med was primitive, and meant to foster a relationship with nature. The settlement project is considered to be one of the most notorious examples of modern movement settlement in the Mediterranean coast.
With the rise of democracy and ecological conservation, Cap de Creus was declared a Natural Park in 1998. The cape, including the Club Med surroundings, was given the highest level of land protection because of its outstanding geological and botanical value. In the summer of 2003 Club Med was permanently closed, and in 2005, the 200 ha of property was acquired by the Spanish Ministry of Environment and a restoration project was active during 2005 and 2007.
In 2009-10, the Club Med settlement was ‘deconstructed’, its ecological dynamics revived and an innovative public use landscape project was begun for its rediscovery. Ensemble i In turn, the work became the Mediterranean´s coast biggest deconstruction & restoration project ever.
The project is related to an important aspect of what landscape architecture is about, namely identifying, unveiling and eventually transforming a site, to fit with what is already there. Revealing & celebration ‘the real’ landscape and its specificities.
Unlike the abstract, which attempts to neutralise specificity and establish the universality of the artefact, the Literal, the Real, connects with history, giving (elements or fabrics) the aura of authenticity by repetition, reflection or critique. Ian McDougall.
Indeed, the project´s goal was not to build or un-build, a landscape but to conceive the conditions for its experiencing. To do so, the process involved in-depth site reconnaissance and precise on-site cartography making. During the 5 years process, including the 14 months of work, the designers walked more than 200km on site, took and studied more than 15,000 images, and received up to 50 specialists in different fields related to nature restoration, in search for ways to optimize deconstruction, nature dynamic reclamation, and social valorization. The commission was approximated as an open process, enabling flexibility to integrate the discoveries following deconstruction. For instance the solution to enhance a ‘Pegmatite’ outcrop at the entrance was found and negotiated with the builder during work.
Constructively a minimalist approach was taken, reducing materials to those on site plus Cor-ten steel, for its landscape integration and its resistance to sea exposure, and using only few consistent construction details repeated through the site. ‘Robustness’ for a landscape that accepts little domesticities.