Name: Mar Menor
Location: Murcia, Spain
of Completion: 2009
Architect: Jose A. Jaguan, PLA, ASLA, EDSA, Inc.
Polaris World Development, S.L., Jose Hernandez de Arce
the Murcia countryside, between orange manors, olive groves and flower fields,
old little towns and vernacular agrarian villages, nestled between a fertile
valley, an imposing mountain range and the magnificent Mediterranean Sea, lies
the Mar Menor community. At 7 km from Los Alcázares by sea and only 4 km from
Torre Pacheco, a traditional Murcia town, this community was conceived from
inception as a sustainable place to live.
Immersed in the richness of southern Spain, Mar Menor offers 750 villas
inspired by the local vernacular and, geared towards Northern Europeans seeking
the warmth of the southern sun and the flavor of Spanish culture.
a diverse community, strengthening an appreciation for belonging, celebrating authenticity
and establishing a collective identity are essential to creating a sense of
place. This residential community responded to these needs by defining a community
heart and soul – a town center – where all can gather, socialize and reconnect.
The town center responds to the concept of a sensitive lifestyle and pedestrian
intimacy through its different program elements, which include a convenience
store, hair salon, wellness center, gym and community center with pools for all
ages, tennis courts and a golf clubhouse that opens up views to the first phase
9-hole golf course.
The siting of plazas, open green spaces, fountains and
pathways create a network of pedestrian-oriented streets that unify the
neighborhood. The local architecture is depicted through the styling of buildings
and villas while the use of regional colors, patterns and forms reinforce the
community’s rhythm and character.
not only from a physical point-of view but a psychological perspective, was the
catalyst that defined Mar Menor. Each
quarter of the community is organized around a common public space with well-defined
plazas and linear parks. All vehicular and pedestrian streets and paths connect
to the central town center. The overarching design concept was to create a
walkable, pedestrian-friendly community where green spaces and winding pathways
serve as links between the man-made, the natural and the social tapestry elements
of the project. There was an added emphasis on being kinder and gentler to the
surrounding ecological and cultural attributes of the site in creating a
greater place of interest and dynamic environment that fosters exploration.
locally produced materials as well as native plants were used in the
construction and creation of gardens, parks, streetscapes and buildings. It was
the strong will of the developer to become the first comprehensive residential community
in the area by bringing an improved quality of life for everybody to enjoy.
Over the years the presence of the Mar Menor community has helped local
businesses and industries thrive by contributing to the creation of new
employment opportunities for locals and improving the tourism attraction through
the Intercontinental Hotel located on its premises.
Mar Menor is a consolidated community that offers its inhabitants a healthy
lifestyle through its intimate scale, invigorating pedestrian-oriented streets,
strong offerings of green spaces and recreation areas, cohesively connected by
harmonious urban proportions, authentic style patterns and recognizable
landmarks emphasizing a renewed neighborhood oriented approach and
incorporation of social and economic stewardship.