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El Caminito del Rey was awarded at the 13th Spanish Architecture and Town Planning Biennial


El Caminito del Rey was awarded at the 13th Spanish Architecture and Town Planning Biennial

The path’s refurbishing project will be part of a travelling exhibition with other 22 best Spanish architecture projects in 2015.The exhibition is planned to be displayed first in the Palace of Carlos V in Granada, then in several other cities and finally in New York in October.

The refurbishment of El Caminito del Rey carried out by the County Council of Málaga was today once again awarded at the 13the Spanish Architecture and Town Planning Biennial in the category of Town Planning: Town and Landscape. All twenty-two awarded Spanish town planning projects which were performed in 2015 are going to make part of a travelling exhibition, called Alternatives. The exhibition was officially opened today in the Palace of Carlos V in Granada, and it will be taken to several other Spanish towns before it ends in New York in October. 

Málaga County Council President Elías Bendodo attended today’s award ceremony in the Palace of Carlos V in Alambra in Granada, where the most successful architects in Spain were acknowledged. There were as well María del Mar González, the Mayor of Ardales, Víctor Manuel Castillo, the Mayor of Valle de Abdalajís and Sonia Ramos, the Deputy Mayor of Álora, together with architect Luis Machuca, the Head of Architecture and Town Planning Department at the County Council and the creator of the project.

These prizes are awarded by the Ministry of Public Works, through the Governments Architecture, Housing and Land General Manager’s Office in collaboration with the Board of Spanish Architects Association (CSCAE), the Caja de Architectos Foundation, and Town Planning Architects Union (Unión de Agrupaciones de Arquitectos Urbanistas).

Mr Elías Bendodo underlined that the project which was carried out by the Málaga County Council has turned El Caminito del Rey into a representative landmark of the province which became well-known all over the world and influenced economic and social development of the surrounding area.

Moreover, he was pleased that different national and regional institutions, as well as those from South America and Europe, have awarded the path for its architectural structure and its contribution to tourism. Therefore, he thanked the entire team of the County Council for their work on the refurbishment of this natural beauty spot.

The path was one of twenty-two awarded projects, among other 449 proposals at the Spanish Architecture and Town Planning Biennial, and therefore a part of the travelling exhibition.

The jury applauded the project due to the varied actions that were taken during its performance out of consideration for the cultural heritage and the landscape, considering these solutions highly innovative and professional as they contribute to the improvement of the environment. They were considered to be ‘adequate solutions to the problems, carried out with available natural resources, which can easily become an example in this kind of buildings and a real cultural legacy.

A Great Team

The creator of this project, architect Luis Machuca, Head of Architecture and Town Planning Department at the County Council, was very pleased the project was awarded and said: ‘This is very important not only for me but also for this institution, service provided and architects from Málaga’. He underlined the relevance of the team work, especially the one so big, of the support obtained from the Government, the County Council and the works carried out by the Building Company Sando.

Other professionals who worked on the project are: architects María Luisa Escudier, Manuel José Rodríguez and Borja Peñalosa, legal adviser Amor Olveira, geographer Encarna León, biologist Aurora Quesada, economist Carlos Vasserot, civil engineer  José Luis Escolano, industrial engineer José Ángel Mata, on-site architect José Luis Juanas and structural engineer Juan  Schwarzmann.

Beside the path, some other Andalusian projects, such as La Casa de Los Vientos [The House of Winds] in La Linea de la Concepción, the School of Architecture in an old Military Hospital in Granada, the School of Sailing in Sotogrande, and the structural refurbishment of the old Monastery Santa María de los Reyes in Seville.

Other Awards

El Caminito del Rey took a little more than a year to obtain some very important international awards, such as three prizes for cultural heritage sites and South American award for architecture,  national prize for excellence in tourism and architecture, and a regional prize for contribution to tourism.

It also obtained Europa Nostra Award, the most prestigious prize in Europe in the heritage field, in three different categories. El Caminito del Rey was one of the twenty-eight awarded projects in Conservation Category. It was the only Spanish project, together with the refurbishment of six churches in Lorca after the earthquake.

Moreover, it was one among six other project that were granted the Grand Prix Award by the experts, and the most voted project by European citizens on the Internet, which is why it obtained the Public Choice Award.

The European Commission has chosen El Caminito del Rey as an example of creativity, invention and sustainability in the European heritage field.

At the same time, the path was awarded one of twenty-six prizes at the Hispanic-American Architecture and Town Planning Biennial (Bienal Iberoamericana de Arquitectura y Urbanismo), where it competed together with other 194 projects presented by committees from twenty-one different countries.

The path was awarded for emerging tourist destination by the Spanish Cabinet at the end of 2015 and, last week, the Andalusian Government gave it Prize for Contribution to Tourism in 2016 (Premio Andalucía del Turismo), in the Good Practice category.