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Work started to demolish the house on Calle Bikini in Almuñécar on Tuesday 9 January. Ideal
Consternation in Granada tourist town as Dutch-style house is demolished
History

Consternation in Granada tourist town as Dutch-style house is demolished

Some local residents argue that the house on Calle Bikini in Almuñécar is reminiscent of the De Stijl art movement and should have been protected

Pilar García-Trevijano / Jennie Rhodes

Almuñécar

Wednesday, 10 January 2024, 17:56

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The demolition of a derelict, unprotected villa on Calle Bikini in Almuñécar (Granada province) has caused consternation among some residents of the coastal town, which has a large foreign community and is a popular tourist destination.

Demolition work to the plot, which is located near the town’s San Cristobal beach, began on Tuesday 9 January, despite some residents’ attempts to stop it. Fans of the building argued in a letter to Ideal – Granada’s provincial newspaper - that the architecture is clearly based on and reminiscent of the De Stijl art movement, which emerged in the Netherlands around 1917 and means 'the style' in Dutch.

One its most important artists was the avant-garde painter Piet Mondrian and it is said to have influenced not only architecture but industrial design, literature and music. De Stijl remained fashionable until the 1930s and was characterised by geometric forms of straight lines, squares, rectangles and primary colours.

The residents believe that for this reason alone the property should have been eligible for protection. It is the mosaics on the façade and the use of blue, red, yellow and black that remind residents and visitors to the town of the movement. They say that it is a pity that this house, which they consider a 'monument', is to be destroyed. They argue that the property is of historical value in Almuñécar, although it does not enjoy any level of protection.

The villa had been neglected and since the garden was landscaped recently, the advanced state of deterioration of parts of the building have become more evident.

The derelict house; a no parking sign as the bulldozers moved in, the front door to the property. Ideal
Imagen principal - The derelict house; a no parking sign as the bulldozers moved in, the front door to the property.
Imagen secundaria 1 - The derelict house; a no parking sign as the bulldozers moved in, the front door to the property.
Imagen secundaria 2 - The derelict house; a no parking sign as the bulldozers moved in, the front door to the property.

The plot was bought by the Rodriguez family, who run a number of three-star hotel and restaurant businesses in the area, some years ago. They explained to Ideal that the house, which in the past was owned by a private individual, was purchased many years ago by the family and that it has not been granted any kind of protection.

They added that they have all the necessary permits and that if it had been a property of interest to be protected, the Junta de Andalucía's culture department or the town hall itself would have opposed its demolition. They also pointed out that the building was not structurally safe and at risk of collapse. The owners have not yet decided what they will use the land, which is located behind the Casablanca hotel, one of the family's businesses.

In 2022 the family also acquired Hotel Noy in Calle Guadix, also near to San Cristóbal beach, which was previously Hotel La Najarra. The hotel opened after a complete refurbishment its 38 rooms, bathrooms and common areas.

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