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Carles Muro

Mirador del Palmeral (Palm Grove Viewpoint)

The construction of the “Palmeral Viewpoint” will be an excellent opportunity for the city of Elche to take an important step forward in the commitment between the city and its Palm Grove.

The viewpoint will offer three new levels from which to enjoy the view of the Palm Groves, suggesting different relationships of closeness and distance: a firs level, at a height of 30 m, offers a close up view, just above the crowns of the palm trees; a second level, at a height of 60 m, allows for a more general view of the surrounding area and, finally, from the top level, at some 90 m of height, one can enjoy an overall view of the Historic Palm Grove.

Each of these levels is linked to a specific programme to potentiate its use. The first level, just above the sea of palm leaves, will house the restaurant and coffee shop, unveiling an unexpected view of the Palm Grove. A small lecture hall on the intermediate level will allow for presentations on the history and conservation of the Palm Grove. Finally, the upper level offers a variety of ways of contemplating the city of Elche and its Palm Grove. The geometry of the plan allows for a maximum viewing perimeter and five variations on the notion of belvedere.

The geometry of the tower is obtained through the rotation of a star-shaped figure along a vertical axis, leaving a helicoidal trail in the air and thus evoking the way a palm tree grows.

About The Designer

Carles Muro is an architect and educator. He worked with Elías Torres and José A. Martínez Lapeña in Barcelona (1987-1991) and Álvaro Siza in Oporto (1992-1993) before setting up in private practice in 1993. Recent built projects include the Public Market in Inca (Majorca) and the Health Care Centre in Tordera, near Barcelona. The work of his practice has been extensively exhibited and published worldwide. Muro was Unit Master at the Architectural Association School of Architecture (London, 1996-1998) and Director of the Masters Programme “Arquitectura: Crítica y Proyecto” at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (Barcelona, 1998-2002). He has taught regularly at the ETSABarcelona (1993-2015) and is currently Design Critic in Architecture and Urban Design at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design. He has also been a member of the Editorial Board of several publications and director of the “Pre-Textos de Arquitectura” book series. A selection of his writings was collected in the volume Arquitecturas Fugaces (Lampreave, Madrid, 2007).