Not long ago a real estate project on the South coast of Spain failed. It was a relatively large project focused on people who had retired. I heard about the project when they were working on it and it was in those days when you now say - near the end of the construction boom. But that was not the real and only problem.
Thinking about it, it comes down to the basics of real estate development: Location, location and location.
The chosen location was the Huelva province which lies near Portugal on the Atlantic Ocean, rather on the Mediterranean see. The advantage, it is still relatively cheap out there because much less popular and developed - tourism-wise - as the other side of Gibraltar. But this advantage is more of a disadvantage. There is airport with frequent flights which makes the transport a mayor issue.
That side of the coast is much more industrialized than the other side. Which is another reason why Costa del Sol has been dedicated to tourism and Huelva not as such. Large oil refineries have their installations and influence the pureness of the air. This is directly linked to the idea of a combined center, a combination of offering healthcare facilities and housing. The community would have their own Dutch medical specialists.
An island within an island. This argument is also related to the other ones. As being more isolated, the community has to make sure it will flourish from within, because there is not a similar existing project. People have to make something out of it. Like buying a house in a suburb that has been developed and where the gardens need a few years to grow.
That is my main argument against the project. Architecture is to serve live it cannot force live. Probably the best example of this is Brasilia, the capital of Brazil, designed by architects to create a new world inside a world. It failed; people have felt isolated for years. I visited the place in 1988 and by that time I was glad to have seen it. As a tourist.
H. J. B.
© Hans Bool