Adeje’s Plaza de España wins another architecture award

Photo: Adeje Ayuntamiento.

Updated 5 November 2018: It’s an incredible six years since the last time I posted about the winning design of the Plaza de España to the side of the Town Hall at the top of Adeje’s Calle Grande, but the design is still a winner because the square has just won top prize in the Canarian ‘Manuel de Oráa y Arcocha 2008-2017 architecture awards, in the landscape and public space category. Adeje Ayuntamiento says that the award is for the plaza’s projection as a reference point in both modernity and the preservation of local heritage.

The prize is awarded by the Official School of Architecture of Tenerife, La Gomera and El Hierro, and is dedicated to recognising work in creating spaces that respect and emphasise the worth of local heritage and natural resources. The Plaza de España does just that, flanked by the Convento de San Francisco on one side, the Santa Úrsula Martir church on the other and with the awe-inspiring Barranco del Infierno as a backdrop, each a recognised point of cultural and natural interest, with the Plaza designed to enhance each of these features.

The renovation and redesign of the Plaza de España was the work of Tenerife architect Fernando Martín Menis (Estudio Menis Arquitectos) who is also responsible for the Magma & Congresos building, two structures that have become focus points in the borough for different groups and events, as well as viewpoints in their own right.

The Plaza de España is 1,182m2 with a 446m2 stage space and a garden zone. Work on the renovation and redesign was carried out in 2009 and 2010 financed by the Plan E2009 and Plan E2010. Since it reopened it has helped revitalise local businesses and become a much-used centre for events and public get-togethers.

Update 4 October 2012: And the Plaza de España has won! The judges said that the design, of Menis Arquitectos, was ‘a transformative project that uses the removal of buildings to open up an enlarged public plaza to an incredible landscape. ‘The addition of a small, underground museum adds to the surprise and unique understanding of how to activate a new public amenity – but more importantly it defines a new way for the town to appreciate its own identity and context, away from its role as a tourist destination.’ The judges stressed that the bold approach allowed the ‘un-obvious to become the obvious solution’. For more, see the World Architecture Festival site HERE, and for the project in detail, see HERE.

Update 23 July: Fernando Menis, who was a finalist in this year’s European Prize for Public Urban Space,  is now a finalist in the New and Old category of the World Architecture Festival for his design of the Plaza de España de Adeje. The prize will be awarded in Singapore between 3 and 5 October. The festival is considered the most important in its speciality, and to be a global showcase of architectural excellence. Some 8,000 professionals will be attending. For more information about the festival and the shortlisted finalists, the website is .  The above photo, which was taken by Simona Rota, along with several other beautiful ones, is on the Menis website HERE: I am grateful to Simona and the Menis agency for permission to use it.

Original post 6 May 2012:  The Plaza de España in Adeje, the new square between the town hall and the church at the top of Calle Grande, is a finalist in the seventh edition of the European Prize for Public Urban Space. The award was created to recognize the recuperation and creation of public spaces, and is held every two years, being granted to the professionals responsible, in this case Canarian architect Fernando Martín Menis, the architect behind the amazing and beautiful Magma Centre. The above photo, which was taken by Simona Rota, along with several other beautiful ones, is on the Menis website HERE: I am grateful to Simona and the Menis agency for permission to use it.

Adeje mayor José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga said that from the outset they wanted to make a plaza which joined the present with the past, and paid homage to Adejeros of the past. The end result has been a new tower in the exact place where there used to be an ossuary, and under which, in the future, will be an art museum. As such, the project is unfinished, and is competing for the prize with 346 other finalists in Europe whose works are completed. The plaza will be included in the on-line European Archive of Public Urban Space which comprises a selection of the best projects presented for the prize.

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