An Andalusian village with a marina. That was the concept that José Banús wanted to bring to Marbella in the 1960s. Today, more than half a century after its inauguration, Puerto Banús is known across the globe for its luxury leisure offering and its broad variety of shopping outlets which every year generate more than 1.8 billion euros in commercial transactions.
However, now, with the objective of maintaining the essence of this 'Mediterranean village', management at the port has created a style guide in a bid to homogenise the area's architecture.
Many national and international firms (more than 70) now have a presence in Puerto Banús and they will all have to follow the new guidelines which must be implemented between autumn 2019 and spring 2020.
Classic materials and design
The guide, to which this newspaper has had access, is loyal to the original styling of the port, with original white façades and balconies with black railings. Special emphasis is placed on classic materials and design, maintaining a maritime theme. These materials have to be of the "highest quality and durability", says the guide, which recommends handcrafted finishes on the façade, with white the dominant colour. Bright or fluorescent colours are completely forbidden.
Exceptions will only be allowed in the dock area, where light-coloured natural stone may be used, albeit only with the prior approval of the port management.
It will also be mandatory to remove visible gutters, downspouts, aerials and air conditioning units. Instead they must be placed in areas hidden from public view. Likewise, the installation of tiles or decoration on marquees will not be allowed, nor will people employed to hand out leaflets or show menus to potential customers.
Floral decoration, as well as awnings and pavements in shades of cream and grey are also favoured, according to the guide.
Levels of noise and light pollution are also considered with acceptable levels also published within the guide.
These directives are "obligatory" for all spaces but the port management will be "flexible" with premises which will need significant investment in order to comply.
The idea of this document is to give structure to the aesthetic and general use regulations for the entire port area, especially the shopping areas. This is part of the strategy of the new management to maintain the original essence of the area. In 2017, following the death of then-president Alberto Vidella (and nephew of José Banús), the new concession holder sought to "professionalise the management" and brought in Juan Núñez Insausti as managing director.