Architects will tell you that the first inspiration in the creative process of designing a home or complex comes from the plot itself. As Pablo Villarroel, who shaped Marbella Club Hills, says: “In the first instance, it is the setting that gives you the background, the material with which to work, and this information feeds back into your client’s brief, which in the case of Marbella Club Hills was clear: let this beautiful site inspire you.”

Words: Michel Cruz

Images: Courtesy of Marbella Club Hills

A beachfront location sells itself, buyers don’t need much convincing. The reason why they too tend to be designed with care is related to the cost of the land and the associated value of the property being created, but the rule of thumb states that when you build a little further inland, you have to make more of an effort. This is generally true, and it results in some beautifully thought-out villas and apartment complexes, often within a select country club environment, but there are cases where the sheer beauty of a hillside setting can be such that it too shouts ‘Location, Location, Location’.

“I am a true believer in the fact that the plot informs the process,” says Pablo Villarroel.

“It gives you vital details such as topography and the amount of earthmoving or support required, the orientation that makes the most of the views and natural light, climatic conditions to bear in mind and all manner of other facts to take into consideration before you even start developing the concept and designing the homes, but above all it gives you a feeling. It is precisely the feeling from which the aesthetic inspiration flows.”

“The setting of Marbella Club Hills speaks to you, and for that matter it’s name is very apt. Standing here you feel you’re in Andalucía, and looking out over the green hills to the wide expanse of Mediterranean Sea, it looks like classic Costa del Sol. This is the pure essence of this coast, it is Marbella personified. Or rather, it is what we picture and sense when we think of Marbella and the attributes that make it so special. Properties built today have to be modern and fully up to date in technical terms, but standing there I knew it also had to breathe Andalusian style.”

Modern Andalucía, in the Marbella tradition

Marbella has a long tradition of absorbing modern and international design trends into Andalusian architectural traditions, and vice versa, and this is exactly what Pablo wanted to emphasise in his designs for Marbella Club Hills.

“We’ve lost our connection a little bit in recent years, lost the link to the landscape and the cultural heritage that surrounds us. Architects, developers and buyers all love modern design, but to be truly outstanding it has to have meaning, an identity that fits into its setting, not just be a home that could be anywhere in the world. That becomes too anonymous.”

And so, he worked hard to find the right balance, as the mastery is in the detail. The result is a residential resort that stands out among so many developments because it looks sleek and modern, offers all the latest comforts, luxuries and technology, but does not follow the mainstream. Marbella Club Hills has a wonderful identity about it that stems from inclined Mediterranean roofs with terracotta tiles, real wooden beams hanging from modern concrete ceilings, but also the large minimalist frames of the powder coated aluminium windows and seamless glass terrace railings. 

“Architecture of this kind is like the blending of modern and classic furniture in a stylish interior, it’s all about balance,”

says Pablo, and it is in knowing how to proportion the different elements that he has created the added value to a project that blends effortlessly into its beautiful setting. Attention to detail and a knowing eye produce a seamless flow to the landscaped areas that surround the buildings placed with precision to optimise light, views and a sense of space. It also means creating roads with gradients under 15% that follow the natural contours of the land, not an easy task.

“This, together with the question of how to shape and position the units so that every one of the apartments has optimal sea and country views, offers an example of how the good old-fashioned tenacity and dedication of our fantastic studio team at Villarroel Torrico overcame a technical challenge. Once well designed, the work then flows well, and we’ve now moved from Phase I, which is fully sold, on to Phase II, where construction is progressing swiftly.”

The developers are matching this with fresh marketing presentation and regular progress updates sent to owners.

A new sense of appreciation

Where once the focal point of the mainstay of buyers on the Costa del Sol was the sea, the sea and nothing but the sea, today that is significantly different.

Such homeowners want the space, authenticity and privacy that beachfront locations struggle to offer, so the market selects and corrects itself.

“The thing is to respect the natural setting and create the best project you can, in terms of aesthetic design, technical specifications, build quality and materials, as well as the amenities provides,”

says Pablo, whose designs for Marbella Club Hills includes four villas and six semi-detached homes situated close to the racquet club and its clubhouse. “This is not just a stylish residential complex, it’s a private resort.”

Read the article here.

Marbella Club Hills, Urb. Caserías del Esperonal, Carretera de Monte Mayor, Benahavis

Tel: +34 639 581 853
Tel: +34 951 661 173