The construction is about 50 per cent complete. / V.M.

The olive oil mill designed by Philippe Starck in Ronda will open early in 2023

The construction of the building is about 50 per cent complete and it should be finished by December, despite work having stopped for around a month because of the rain

VANESSA MELGAR Ronda

The ecological olive oil mill in Ronda which has been designed by Philippe Starck will open in the first quarter of 2023, says the director of LA Organic, Santiago Muguiro. He has confirmed that everything is proceeding to schedule despite the works having stopped for about a month because of the rain. The construction is 50 per cent completed and should be finished in December. “We are past the most complicated phase, so everything will speed up now,” he says.

LA Organic, an olive oil company founded by the Gómez de Baeza family, began the LA Organic experience, of which this mill forms part, in 2018. It is the French designer’s third work in Spain, after Puerto Adriano in Mallorca and La Alhóndiga in Bilbao.

The complex is on a 26-hectare estate 2.5 kilometres from Ronda, on the Campillos road. An olive oil route has already been created there, dotted with works by Starck, and there is accommodation, olive oil tasting sessions, space for events, a restaurant and experiences, such as taking part in the olive harvest and producing the so-called liquid gold, among others.

The mill is the second part of the project and its promotors, LA Organic and investors including the Villar Mir family, estimate that it will receive around 150,000 visits a year. It will resemble the Marqués de Riscal wineries, designed by Frank O. Gehry, but in the world of olive oil as the first signature mill in the world.

“There will be several aspects to it, not just producing the oil. There will be a museum and a gastronomic area as well,” says Muguiro. In total, the project is costing between 20 and 22 million euros of private investment.

'The bull'

The mill, which is being built by the Ronda firm Ormetec Obras y Servicios, S. L., part of the Caorza Group, will look like a type of cube, 30 by 30 metres and 25 metres high, which Starck has christened “the bull” because of the large horn on the exterior which will become one of its signs of identity along with a Picasso eye and a large olive. There will also be allusions to Francisco de Goya, a bullfighter, Abbas Ibs Firnás, considered the father of aeronautics… and other details which have not yet been revealed.

In the basement, through glass panels, visitors will be able to see the way the oil is made.