Cafeteria, lifesaving building and landscape design in Balarés Beach (Spain)


Diputación Provincial de A Coruña.


Playa de Balarés, Ponteceso. A Coruña, Spain.


Project: May 1998 (1st Phase) - November 2001 (2nd Phase) |  Completion: 2000 (1st Phase) - 2002 (2nd Phase).

Architects and Construction managers

Antonio Raya, Cristóbal Crespo and Carlos Qvintáns.


Architects: Santiago Sánchez Iglesias, Enrique Antelo Tudela, José Froján Resúa.

Sculptor: Moncho Amigo.


Obras Ramón Cotelo S.L.


232,32 m2.






HIGHLY COMMENDED - Project AR+D Awards 2001. Emerging Architecture (The Architectural Review).



ACCESIT - IX Edition COAG Architecture Award. December 2000.




AVANCE DE UNA CONTINGENCIA. ARQUITECTURA CONTEMPORÁNEA EN GALICIA. Ed. Xunta de Galicia, Consejería de Cultura y Deporte, Centro Gallego de Arte Contemporánea, 2007. ISBN 978-84-453-4519-1. Pg. 293.

ARTISTAS GALLEGOS. ARQUITECTOS. Ed. Nova Galicia, S.L. Carlos del Pulgar Sabín. 2004. ISBN (Tomo) 84-96293-55-6. Pgs. 266 - 293.

PREMIS FAD ARQUITECTURA INTERIORISME 2001. Editorial On. Barcelona. 2001. Pgs. 46 - 49.


DAU. Debats D´Arquitectura i Urbanisme 19, espais perifèrics en el medi urbà. Demarcación de Lleida. COA de Cataluña. Spring 2003. ISSN 1137-8883. Pgs. 29 - 31.

ARCHITÉCTI 59. Revista de arquitectura e design. Cascais. Lisboa, July - September 2002. DGCS 113398. Pgs. 52 - 57.

ARCHITECTURE MÉDITERRANÉENNE 57. Revue Semestrielle Internationale D´Architecture. Marseilles, June 2002. ISSN 0761-7909. Pg. 33.

ON DISEÑO 223. Publicación sobre el diseño del entorno: arquitectura, interiorismo, arte, diseño industrial y gráfica. Barcelona 2001. ISSN 0210-2080. Pgs. 296 - 303.

THE ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW. AR+D: Emerging Architecture, 1258. London, December 2001. ISSN 0003-86IX. Pg. 79.

OBRADOIRO 29. Revista de Arquitectura COAG. Santiago, 2001. ISSN0211-6065. Pg. 69.

COSTES + DATOS 27. Madrid, May - June 2000. ISSN 1136-9132. Pgs. 34 - 35.

Catálogo Exposición ARQUITECTURA RECENTE NA COSTA DA MORTE. COAG, A Coruña. May 2003.





1st Phase

The objective of this project is the construction of some services for the use of the visitors to the beach, buildings for the Red Cross and another building that contains a cafeteria and a restaurant.

The project takes advantage of an old wolfram cargo building present at the port in order to set on the different and already existing platforms. The dependencies destined to several services and the Red Cross are located in the lowest point for consolidating and refurbishing, this way, the lowest platform. The cafeteria and the restaurant take form in a concrete prism with a big opening facing the sea and some other openings of a smaller size on the side parts where the entrance takes place. All the voids in this prism can be closed and protected with some wooden sliding doors. The prism has a partially covered space that creates a patio to which the cafeteria and restaurant open.

2nd Phase

The aim of this second phase is to complement the services system offered to the users of the Balarés Beach and its surroundings. In the previous phase the construction of some buildings for the use of the visitors to the beach was started, some dependencies for the Red Cross and a building that contains a cafeteria and a restaurant. Initially conceived as facilities for their exclusive use in the summer time, the rough climatology, the attractive natural surroundings and the management and concession conditions advise to foresee the necessary conditions to guarantee the continuing use throughout the year of the restaurant and the toilets, this is the reason why in this phase elements and constructive resources destined to such purpose are incorporated. More specifically, a small underground warehouse to serve to the restaurant in the adjacent zone to the latter and with service to the outside and a small canopy to carry out the selling of ice-creams through one of the walls, as well as other small interventions such as screens to act as defences against the wind, canalization for installations, etc.

On the other hand, in the moment of the writing of this phase the works executed during the first phase coexisted with some elements from the urban furniture, out of context and being incoherent with the architectural and landscape language, used in the constructed part. The goal here is to resolve this shortcoming, which seriously affects the environmental quality, replacing such elements (showers, litter bins, etc.) with others, whose shape and material conception is more discreet and appropriate to the environment, both natural and constructed. So, treated-wood floorings are used in the exterior parts in ways and itineraries and prefabricated concrete elements used for showers floorings and defences on the quay.

In order to finish, we need to emphasize that the top priority has been the preservation of the extraordinary environmental and natural conditions of the surroundings of the Balarés Beach, at least in the area of performance, this is why it existed a special concern about not to flood the zone with elements strange to it. Nevertheless, what is needed here is a sculptural element of a symbolic nature to be characteristic of the area, a worry which has been shared with the sculptor from La Coruña Moncho Amigo. A figment of his much reflection and the open collaboration with the project, it was decided to include a piece of stainless steel on the edge of the pier on its encounter with the rock, a device oriented towards the sea that evokes the times of wolfram unloading, with the precise and categorical aesthetics of the mechanical devices from the forties and which in its interior contained the most entertaining and harmless mechanism one could imagine: a gigantic kaleidoscope. Apart from the artistic interest of the work, it is obvious that both its quality and its ludic component part (it is easy to imagine the shine of the steel reflecting the rays of sunlight in the different times of the day and its tonalities) will provide the environment with an added value, infinitely superior to the material cost of the piece expressed in the project.

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