For decades, Málaga was seen by the international community as little else than an airport on the way to Marbella and Puerto Banús. However, in the last 20 years, the city has experienced quite a metamorphosis, with the rehabilitation of the old town, which is now closed to traffic and the transformation of the old port into a modern marina, with another huge one for super yachts to be developed within the next few years.
Málaga is not just sun and beaches, but a city full of history, art and culture. It is the birth place of two of the most charismatic men of the 20th century: Pablo Picasso, one of the world’s greatest artists, and Antonio Banderas, who is probably the best known Spanish actor of the last 50 years.
Málaga has a strategic position in the coast of Andalucía, a gateway to the renowned provinces of Granada, with is extraordinary Alhambra, and Cádiz, founded by the Phoenicians more than 3,000 years ago. In the province of Málaga, you’ll be spoilt for choice of places to visit, among them, the caves of Nerja, where concerts are regularly held in one of its chambers, which forms a natural amphitheatre and the Roman remains in the archaeological site near the lighthouse in Torrox.
Málaga city itself has plenty to offer: from the Museo Picasso to the Alcazaba and the Cathedral, not to mention the plethora of top restaurants to choose from. A favourite of mine is the restaurant of Michelin star Chef José Carlos García. Perfectly set in Málaga’s stunning marina, the restaurant is perfect for al fresco dining. The food is simply delicious, each tiny dish tantalising and delighting your palate.
I was particularly dazzled by a very original appetizer consisting of a little square of bitter dark chocolate filled with silky-smooth foie-gras. The fillet of sea bream was equally scrumptious, followed by the most tender veal presented with pan fried fois laid gently on top. This was total foodie heaven.
I had been invited by Metrovacesa and Sierra Blanca Estates for the presentation of one of the most avant-garde urban development projects on the Spanish Mediterranean coast, the Picasso Towers. This project is designed to revamp the western coastline of Málaga.
The towers are designed by the famous Lamela Estudio, the architects behind the celebrated Terminal 4 in Madrid’s airport, the Columbus towers in Madrid and the extension of the Santiago Bernabéu stadium to mention just a few of their outstanding works. As the first luxury development in the city of Málaga, the Picasso towers aim at creating a living space that inspires well-being and tranquillity, with particular attention to the light and the sea, two natural assets that enhance the design of the towers. Furthermore, each property is designed according to energy saving and sustainability standards. For example, all the properties have a dual orientation in order to guarantee natural ventilation and thus, minimise energy consumption on air conditioning.
This project is one more example of the incredible growth and improvement that Málaga has experienced under the direction of Mayor Francisco de la Torre, who has been at the steering wheel of the city for nearly 20 years, focusing on the internationalisation of the city, from a business and living point of view, positioning Málaga as a cultural and economic hub at European level. In fact, Málaga is part of the European innovation partnership on smart cities and communities (EIP-SCC), an initiative supported by the European Commission that brings together cities, industry, small business (SMEs), banks, research and others. It aims to improve urban life through more sustainable integrated solutions and addresses city-specific challenges from different policy areas such as energy, mobility and transport, and ICT.
Within this context, the Picasso Towers will create direct and indirect employment and encourage local economic growth, in an area of Málaga that was underdeveloped but full of potential, just 15 minutes from the Technology Park in one direction and the historic centre in the other. The Picasso Towers will lay their foundations in September this year. Who knows? If I start saving now, maybe I will be living there in the not too distant future.