Arup, Richard Rogers Partnership and Alonso Balaguer Arquitectos Asociados worked together on the masterplanning project of Macairena, which lies at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountain range close to Granada.
The landscape is characterised by a number of ravines and a patchwork of olive and almond trees which makes it a challenging environment to work in. In addition, the site, which lies in two separate communes (Gójar and Dílar), has a very sensitive hydrological environment.
The design of the environmentally-friendly masterplan needed to be subsequently included as part of an Inter-Municipal Development Plan and a Special Plan. The 237ha of land will be dedicated to hotels, an 18-hole golf course, a cultural complex "Los Jardines del Agua" and a residential area for approximately 3,200 homes.
The masterplan called for the alignment of various environments: two residential centers linked to the surrounding natural environment and an ability to provide a community, roadway infrastructure, and appropriate facilities. The proposed roadway structure together with the treatment of the ravines and the natural environment has been designed to encourage cycling and walking along pathways rather than the use of private cars.
The development proposed a unique urbanism model, placing particular emphasis on:
Adaptation to the physical environment.
A sustainable water cycle, minimising consumption and improving the recycling of waste water.
An energy cycle, aiming to neutralise emissions which cause climate change.