AB is characterized by the adaptation of the architecture to the surroundings: the bay between the Torres River, the Sant Josep stream and the cove, with the mountainous backdrop. The buildings, like imposing trees, rise on a stone pedestal and display their sinuous and organic forms that make up the large terraces at different heights. The philosophy of listening to and integrating the landscape is visible both in the forms and in the materials and colors drawn from the original landscape.
Allonbay Village is located in one of the most unique areas of the Costa Blanca. Historically, this is an area of great value due to the proximity of the ancient Roman city Allon, on which the funerary tower of Hércules is preserved. The sector is framed between the Torres river, the Sant Josep creek and a beautiful cove, with the background of the Puig Campana, the second highest mountain in the province of Alicante.
The development was conceived as a whole, giving an aesthetic and a functional coherence with its surroundings, and so avoiding dissonant volumes. The main axis of the design is an imaginary diagonal that links the Tower of Hércules and the Torres ravine, allowing visual connection and breaking up an orthogonal structure. We have achieved the first BREEAM certificate on urban planning in Spain thanks to the design principles followed.
AQUA consists of six high-rise buildings and ground floor terraced housing that forms a large stone plinth in favour of the human scale, creating pleasant and safe public spaces, fostering interaction between neighbours as in a village. Above it, the towers rise with their sinuous shapes and light colours, extracted from a catalogue of shades from the surrounding area. The copper splashes stand out on the upper floors, replicating the turquoise so characteristic of the sea. There is a great typological variety resulting from a detailed study of each dwelling to maximise its potential, offering optimum orientation and the best views according to its location.
If we continue the diagonal we arrive at the main entrance portico, which faces the Tower of Hércules and the canal that runs through the entire development. Taking advantage of the natural unevenness of the ground, an underground spa has been created and it’s visually connected to the pool. A sunshade visor provides privacy. On the rooftop there is a cactus garden with skylights, allowing natural lighting.
Please highlight how the project can be exemplary in this context
The landscaping of Allonbay Village has a very relevant role, since it is an element that, in a way, articulates the whole complex from the genesis of the project. The residential takes into account both the environmental, social and aesthetic factor of the place where it is located and is the result of a deep analysis in detail of the fauna and flora. Through it, the lines of action were marked to select the plant species to be planted in the residential plots, enhancing the selection of native species and those widely adapted, discarding invasive species and strengthening the possible connections between the different ecological niches that inhabit the sector of Allonbay Village. This diversity translates into a greater number of plants, recovering lost species that previously existed in Villajoyosa and introducing vegetation in areas traditionally neglected in architecture: the rear facades, where plant tapestries have been created using climbers that grow on meshes that extend from one slab to another, in order to improve the views of the rest of the houses that are developed on the back lines.
In addition, a complex drainage and rainwater collection system was installed, which, together with the application of a highly efficient irrigation system, guarantees a responsible supply of water for irrigation. This commitment to sustainability and care for the environment is also reflected throughout the sector, favoring mobility through the use of emission-free alternative transport. The entire urban development has a bicycle lane that connects to the center of Villajoyosa; bicycle racks and charging points for electric cars in the garages. This allowed a global coherence and landscape integration that has resulted in obtaining the first BREEAM Urbanism certificate in Spain.
Please highlight how the project can be exemplary in this context
Instead of opting for the usual linear blocks that exist in the area, Allonbay Village has opted for small towers that have allowed a very permeable arrangement of volumes to facilitate open views and respect for the site. In addition, a large part of the buildability has been transferred to the ground, forming a large stone plinth which, in addition to improving the porosity of the complex, favors the human scale and the creation of pleasant and safe public spaces, enhancing interaction between neighbors as in a village or "illage". A residential complex has been designed surrounded by a naturalized exterior environment and flexible interior spaces to make different uses compatible, where work life can be reconciled with generous communal areas to offer services that we can hardly afford in the private sphere. Walking through the common areas is to discover unique corners such as the large polished concrete table, protected by a leaf-shaped wooden pergola with two visors, one of them slightly inclined to generate shadows.
As in landscaping, the selection of materials for the Allonbay Village buildings responds to a thorough analysis of the environment. This has allowed us to opt for natural materials such as earthen paving, present throughout the development, natural stone for the facades, and architectural elements typical of the landscape of the Spanish Levant, such as the masonry walls replicated in the planters. In addition, the turquoise so characteristic of the Mediterranean Sea "jumps" to the terraces of the blocks in the form of small splashes of "copper" that adopt this color. Also, and according to the philosophy that has accompanied ADORAS since its inception, the decision was made to use local materials to minimize the carbon footprint and promote the local economy.
Please highlight how the project can be exemplary in this context
In Allonbay Village two main elements of the landscape are prioritized: the ravine of the Torres River and the funeral tower of San Josep, from the Roman period; which are visually connected through an imaginary diagonal that directs the lines of buildings and gardens, allowing the visual connection and the opening of the orthogonal urban structure.
For the development of Allonbay Village, an analysis of the landscape and the environment was carried out to establish a chromatic palette that would allow them to select the materials to be used in the urbanizations and buildings that are developed in the sector. Through an analysis of the fauna and flora, the lines of action were established to select the plant species to be planted in the residential plots, promoting the selection of native species and those widely adapted, discarding invasive species and strengthening the possible connections between the different ecological niches that inhabit the Allonbay sector.
In addition, the installation of a complex drainage and rainwater collection system and the implementation of a highly efficient irrigation system guarantee a responsible supply of water for irrigation.
Please highlight how this approach can be exemplary
The building does not seek to be the protagonist, but adapts to its surroundings through shapes, colors and textures, highlighting the landscape and history. An analysis of the site, prevailing winds and sunlight resulted in the proposal of a permeable and dynamic building typology. The approach minimizes land occupation, reducing the impact. The urbanization is planned with native or adapted species with minimal water requirements, and there is a water reuse system for irrigation.
A selection of natural materials was chosen to contribute to landscape integration, such as earthen paving, natural stone on the facades and the integration of architectural elements typical of the Spanish Levante region to promote local industry.
The rear facades, one of the areas traditionally neglected in architecture, become a green tapestry, improving the views from the homes. This commitment to the environment is reflected throughout the sector, favoring mobility through the use of alternative transportation. This work of planning, environmental analysis and landscape integration has resulted in the first BREEAM certificate for urban planning in Spain. In addition, the Aqua residential complex is governed by the recommendations of BREEAM Housing.
All the houses are different, thus offering its inhabitants a wide variety of typologies to find the one that best suits their needs and to finally obtain a rich and mixed social community. The project takes into account the environmental, social and aesthetic factors of the place where it is located and is the result of a detailed analysis of all of them, maintaining an overall coherence.
The analysis of the environment led to a selection of species and materials, as well as to the recovery of old plant species that used to inhabit the site. As a whole, they have allowed the urbanization to improve the thermal sensation during the hottest months, which means energy savings. In addition, the entire sector has an intelligent subway irrigation system, which saves water by feeding directly to the roots, preventing water evaporation. Rain sensors were also installed to stop irrigation in the event of precipitation, which is filtered in water tanks for later use.
Once in height, the buildings are also the result of the analysis of the environment, adapting and using local materials to enhance the local economy and being fully integrated with the landscape. Internally, different typologies have been designed so that each user can find the one that best suits their needs and tastes, although they all share something in common: contact with nature and views of the Mediterranean Sea. In addition, one of the most neglected areas in architecture has been reinvented: the back of the buildings. Allonbay has taken care of even the smallest detail in these areas by including plant species that climb along the towers and improve the views of the rear towers.
All this, added to an inclusive architecture, makes Allonbay an advanced design that creates a sense of belonging in the residents that makes them able to say that they live in a happy neighborhood.
Please also explain the benefits that derived from their involvement.
Allonbay Village has a high social component. In addition to the multidisciplinary vision of the study, which resulted in some of the common areas of the development such as the outdoor gym or the multipurpose room, our atelier conducted a battery of questions to other people to find out what their needs were or what aspects they would like to have in their homes.
Through this initiative, our studio was able to obtain different perspectives that were studied for their application in Allonbay Village. These resulted in the design of enhanced common spaces such as the spa, which has natural light through skylights and is visually connected to the beach-type pool; large terraces overlooking the natural surroundings of the sector and open housing with great lighting thanks to large windows. In addition, the development has small details such as a small viewpoint where residents can disconnect while looking out over the Mediterranean Sea, as well as a fully naturalized area that conveys peace and helps to improve the thermal sensation of the residential complex.
Architecture must change to ensure the well-being of the cities of the future and that of the new generations. And Allonbay Village is an example of this, taking into account the environmental, social and aesthetic factors of the place where it is located. This made it possible to mark the lines of action for selecting the plant species to be planted in the residential plots, promoting the sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems and combating the loss of biodiversity in the sector by reconnecting the different ecological niches that inhabited the area. In addition, the subway irrigation system, used to optimize water consumption and prevent evaporation, the river water collection system and rain sensors to stop irrigation in case of precipitation, allow for sustainable water management.
The blocks have an advanced aerothermal system that favors energy efficiency. In addition, the design of the development helps to avoid the heat island effect, reducing the thermal sensation during the summer months and reducing the use of air conditioners. Allonbay is surrounded by a naturalized outdoor environment and flexible indoor spaces to make different uses compatible with communal areas to offer services that we can hardly afford in the private sphere such as outdoor gyms, rest areas, spa ... And all this to promote the welfare of any type of user. Likewise, a strategy of proximity has been followed when choosing the materials, betting on the local economy and the reduction of the carbon footprint.
All the sectors are connected to the urban center of Villajoyosa through a bike lane that was designed to promote the use of alternative transport. In addition, and based on this philosophy of zero emissions, the garages have a space for the installation of electric car recharging systems. All this makes Allonbay an advanced design that fights against insecurity and creates a sense of belonging in the residents that makes them feel that they live in a happy neighborhood.
For the development of Allonbay Village, an analysis of the landscape and the environment was carried out to establish a chromatic palette that would allow them to select the materials to be used in the urbanizations and buildings to be developed in the sector.
Through an analysis of the fauna and flora, the lines of action were established to select the plant species to be planted in the residential plots, promoting the selection of native species and those that are widely adapted, discarding invasive species and strengthening the possible connections between the different ecological niches that inhabit the Allonbay sector. The sector has an intelligent subway irrigation system that optimizes water consumption. In addition, rain sensors help reduce consumption by stopping irrigation when there is precipitation. Rainwater harvesting also helps this sustainability by storing the water for later use.
In Allonbay Village coexists a great typological variety resulting from a detailed study of each house to maximize its potential, offering an optimal orientation and the best views according to its location. We have opted for a selection of natural materials such as earthen paving, natural stone for facades and paving, and architectural elements typical of the landscape of the Spanish Levant, such as masonry walls replicated in the planters. In addition, local materials have been used, thus reducing the carbon footprint of the materials.
Please provide clear documentation, communication of methodology and principles in this context.
Allonbay Village has developed a strategic work and analysis of the environment rarely seen before. The renaturalization of the sector and the enhancement of a sustainable architecture adapted to the environment in which the development takes place make Allonbay an advanced design that is committed to the local economy and the renaturalization of the urban fabric to improve the quality of life of society and the future generation of tenants.
Because of its adaptation to the environment, it is impossible for it to be located anywhere else. Urbanization has been conceived by and for this sector. However, this philosophy of local work lays the foundations for the national and international architecture sector to move towards new ways of making a city where environmental impact is minimized and buildings blend in with the natural surroundings.