Costa Del Sprawl Pavilion

Were it not for the financial crash, the sprawl of speculative construction would have continued to consume the landscape of the Costa del Sol. Along side the scattering of gated communities that cover the hills rising up from the Mediterranean are concrete relics that make tangible the moment the bubble burst. An edge condition that appears at first to be one of abandonment but after closer observation reveals itself to be a setting for slow, subtle and often unconscious subversion of the ideals that initially brought about the situation.

Nature works its way back over the concrete slabs that were set to host dream holiday homes, refusing to accept its previous destiny as commodity for consumption. Dogs and their owners have made these spaces part of their daily routine, enjoying a freedom and informality that cannot be founded within the fences that wrap around their apartment blocks. The Costa del Sprawl Pavilion is a small step towards the legitimisation of informal spaces that mark the edge of the sprawl. It is a gathering place that encourages spontaneous interaction in a context where such possibilities are scarce. It is a provocation.

Costa del Sprawl Pavilion by Estudio ESSE

Costa del Sprawl Pavilion by Estudio ESSE

Costa del Sprawl Pavilion by Estudio ESSE

When arriving to the Costa del Sol by plane the arial view highlights a key element of the area’s self image; the swimming pool. We immediately think of David Hockney arriving in California. These suggestive blue dots are much more than a place to cool oneself on a hot summer day, they are symbols of leisure and desire, an expression the lifestyle one wishes to be seen to be leading, arenas for all manner of social interaction. The pool as a potent image and place for gathering was therefore the starting point for the pavilion’s design, transplanted from its usual context of verdant, highly maintained, securely enclosed gardens, and placed in another of disregard, entropy and latency. Using materials, colours, forms, and structural compositions the design of the pavilion references and condenses both the immediate and wider cultural contexts into a practical structure which enriches the rhythms and experiences of the terrain vague.

Costa del Sprawl Pavilion by Estudio ESSE

Costa del Sprawl Pavilion by Estudio ESSE

Costa del Sprawl Pavilion by Estudio ESSE

Costa del Sprawl Pavilion by Estudio ESSE

Costa del Sprawl Pavilion by Estudio ESSE

The pavilion was pre-fabricated and assembled on site our team of team of 3 designers within a 2 week period. Primarily composed of OSB sheets, pine battens and terracotta bricks, the self-initiated project was constructed for a budget of €800 raised by a crowd funding campaign. This is the first built project by Estudio ESSE, a team of 3 recent graduates and students from TU Delft – Ecaterina Stefanescu, Sam Eadington and Matt Grimshaw – and was conceived as a physical manifestation of years of research into the area which has seen their work exhibited locally on multiple occasions, initially facilitated by a scholarship awarded by the West Yorkshire Society of Architects.

Costa del Sprawl Pavilion by Estudio ESSE

Costa del Sprawl Pavilion by Estudio ESSE

Costa del Sprawl Pavilion by Estudio ESSE


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