Cemex’s white cement is featured in the prefabricated elements and outdoor furniture of a public park as part of an exciting new urban port renovation project in Malaga, Southern Spain.
In the same port where container and cruise ships dock, The Palmeral de Las Sorpresas, literally ‘Palm Grove of Surprises,’ stands out as an example of how great public spaces, those that serve both practical and aesthetic goals, have to be constructed with the best materials.
The Palmeral is part of an ambitious project to renovate and create public spaces in the port of Malaga, Spain, one of the oldest and most important in the Mediterranean. The architecture studio Junquera Arquitectos, taking the lead from traditional Arabic palm groves in the region, designed a nature-focused urban park overlooking the sea that plays with the traditional elements of shadow, vegetation, and water in a modern way. Cemex’s white cement is featured in the prefabricated elements and the outdoor furniture.
The large promenade is one of the visual standouts of the Palmeral. For its novel design, the architects took inspiration from a metaphor in Herman Melville’s classic novel Moby Dick, wherein the great beached whale resembled the hull of a ship under construction at port. This burst of inspiration led to the design of a 400m runway with a pergola in a shape reminiscent of a fish spine.
The winding pergola was constructed from prefabricated elements cast in situ and featuring Cemex white cement to achieve its brilliant hue. The structural set of 265 skewered pieces of varying shapes set up an interplay of light and shadow, making the choice of colour and texture extremely important to reflect the sun’s rays in a way that would match the architects’ vision to reality. At 14m long and only 20cms thick, the long and narrow pieces were suited to prefabrication.
“This work is only one among many that demonstrates the numerous application possibilities of white concrete as a moulding material, especially in the case of prefabrication either at the factory or in situ, for structural parts and decorative elements or even furniture,” says Javier Fuertes, Cemex director of white cement in Spain.
With its maritime shape overlooking the splendid harbour under the shade of the palm trees, the Palmeral connects land with sea. The promenade is a garden, a gazebo, a meeting place, and a community room: a convivial space designed for all ages.