Antonio Lamela, considered a pioneer of modern Spanish architecture. / el correo

1 April 2017: Death of Costa architect Antonio Lamela

Antonio Lamela was considered a pioneer of Spanish architecture, and his work contributed to the development of tourism in the Malaga province

ALEKK M. SAANDERS

Antonio Lamela was born in 1926 in Madrid, where he later graduated from the Technical School of Architecture. From the start of his professional career, Antonio was a visionary architect, and is now considered a pioneer in modern Spanish architecture. Global travelling helped him to develop his innovative projects.

His first residential building in Madrid had air conditioning, individual rubbish chutes, interior ventilation, and mobile partition walls – revolutionary features in the 1950s. In 1960, he designed the country's first supermarket. He also pioneered the development of various architectural concepts in Spain, including 'office landscape' with irregular geometry and organic circulation patterns.

Antonio Lamela participated in the Costa del Sol's tourist boom that began in the 1960s. Hotel Tres Carabelas in Torremolinos was inaugurated in July 1962, but it closed in 2007. However, his second project, La Nogalera Complex, remains intact and is a landmark of Torremolinos. Located in the very centre of the resort, it was the Costa's first large commercial residential and tourist complex. It received the Gold Plaque for Touristic Merit in 1967, awarded by the Ministry of Information and Tourism.

Malaga and Marbella

In 1969, this same award was given to his Playamar complex, which comprises 21 buildings of 15 floors each. His work can also be found in Malaga and Marbella. Last year, his residential building in Malaga, Ciudad de Melilla 33, was recognised for its quality and was included by the Junta 's General Catalogue of Andalusian Historical Heritage.

Antonio Lamela also worked internationally: on the development of the International Bank of Miami, and in collaboration with British architect Richard Rogers. Overall, his architecture spanned over 1,500 projects. Antonio Lamela received various awards in recognition his achievements in research and entrepreneurship, including the Gold Medal for Merit in Labour and The Rey Jaime I Award. He has also written several books, on topics such as land use, water policies, conservation, and even the protection of the Spanish language.

He passed away in Madrid on 1 April 2017.