Competition Brief: " The objective of the Mediterranean Sea Club (MESC) Ibiza competition for students of architecture and young architects is to produce a new leisure model on the fragile and unique coast of this Mediterranean island."
On an island known for spectacle, even leisure must compete in scale and novelty. The proposed Mediterranean Sea Club enhances the sublimity and drama of the natural coastline by suspending out and across to provide unique perspectives of an unique site. In a place neither of the shore, or of the sea, the space of tourism is allowed to be a spectacle across the water, while the careful placement of its lighthouse mast and no supports to the fragile cliff-side means that the project, for all its size and complexity, preserves the ecosystems at the coastline.
Arriving at the site, the visitor passes through a cooling orchard of local trees and vegetation, planted as part of the wildfire restoration of this peninsula, towards the beacon structure of the structural mast. Passing around the shadow of the structure, the path out beyond the cliff appears - a pier suspended in the air- that allows for unprecedented views to the cliff face and its denizens, or out to the open sea. Proceeding downwards, the user passes the museum, lined with the Anthropocene and ecological artifacts of Ibiza , bypasses three levels of hotel accommodations for tourists and visitors to the island, finds the hotel lobby and swimming pools- suspended between land and sea- before coming out of the monumental stair to the smell of local cuisine accented with salt-spray at the open-air level of the restaurants. Here, foodies and tourists, guests and locals can sample the fruits of the island and its seas while overlooking the ecosystem that produced them, while listening to the bustle of the open-air market that provided them just below and just above the passing waves. Proceeding down further thrill-seekers find the offices and spaces supporting aquatic sports and recreation and the docks, subtly bouncing in the surf, and their ships of play, sport, and food.
A place of spectacle and the tourist, the project uses its scale and presence to give monumentality to local foods and cooking, history, and sustainable play. But this monumentality does not come at a cost, sea-birds still flock at the cliff-face, and the underwater meadows of Posidonia oceanica continue unabated but newly exalted from a thin platform in-between mass and horizon, spectacle and sustainability.