'Cubist' hotel opens in Spain

Mup-Arq creates 'tumbling' concrete and corten steel hotel blocks in Spanish village of Villabuena de Alava
Share
Viura Hotel, Villabuena de Alava, Spain - Mup-Arq
Viura Hotel, Villabuena de Alava, Spain - Mup-Arq

We're fully aware of the power of eye-catching architecture to raise the profile of a place, and sometimes it seems as if the more unknown the location, the bigger the architectural splash. Look at the amazing Louvre outpost in the post-industrial town of Lens by SANAA in Japan, which opened last year.

Now, the sleepy village of Villabuena de Alava in Spain's Basque region has the sort of intervention that might struggle to get planning permission elsewhere. It's a collection of irregular blocks piled higgledy-piggledy, some in concrete and others in corten steel, which appear to emerge out of the rocky hillside on stilts. The architects, Beatriz Perez Echazarreta and Jose Santos Urizar Jauregui of local practice Mup-Arq, call it "a dynamic stacking of oddly-shaped cubes that seem to have been toppled down the escarpment". We can't help being reminded of the irregular forms and undulating floors of the great Austrian artist and architectural designer Friedensreich Hundertwasser.

 

Viura Hotel, Villabuena de Alava, Spain - Mup-Arq
Viura Hotel, Villabuena de Alava, Spain - Mup-Arq

The structure is home to a new boutique hotel, the Viura Hotel, which offers gourmet food and plenty of wine tasting in the nearby bodegas. While Mup-Arq's exterior is a spectacle, the 33 rooms are more conventional boutique fayre of muted tones and photographic murals. However, there are glimpses of the building's rocky foundations in the restaurant, gymnasium, cafeteria, and computer and information areas, where certain walls have been left exposed.

 

Viura Hotel, Villabuena de Alava, Spain - Mup-Arq
Viura Hotel, Villabuena de Alava, Spain - Mup-Arq

While some locals and historians might be alarmed at this modern structure's proximity to the village church (whose spire now peaks out behind the cubes), at least Viura Hotel has stuck to the custom of being lower in height than its divine neighbour.

 

Viura Hotel, Villabuena de Alava, Spain - Mup-Arq
Viura Hotel, Villabuena de Alava, Spain - Mup-Arq


You May Also Like


Related





ABOUT PHAIDON

Phaidon is the premier global publisher of the creative arts with over 1,500 titles in print. We work with the world's most influential artists, chefs, writers and thinkers to produce innovative books on art, photography, design, architecture, fashion, food and travel, and illustrated books for children. Phaidon is headquartered in London and New York City.
Read more