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2012 Award of Honor - Lopesan Baobab Resort
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Project Category: Resort and Entertainment 

Project Name: Lopesan Baobab Resort

 Project Location: Gran Canaria, Canary Islands 

Date of Completion: 2009

Landscape Architect: EDSA, Inc. - Jose Jaguan (

Owner: Lopesan - Juan Francisco

Of the seven main islands that make-up the Canarian archipelago, Gran Canaria stands out for its large variety of vegetation and diversity of landscapes. Often referred to as a miniature continent, the island possesses astounding outdoor opportunities with its beaches and dunes, densely wooded mountains, palm groves in deep gorges in the south and fertile valleys in the north. The Baobab Resort, located on the south portion of the island, takes its cues from the landscape, catering to the area’s natural amenities while offering a family oriented vacation spot for many sun-seeking tourists and water sports enthusiasts.

Located about 90 miles off the northwestern coast of Africa, the resort draws inspiration from this neighboring continent’s story line. This is seen in its architecture, planting palette, materials incorporated throughout the property, art, paving patterns and in the incorporation of the Baobab tree, native to Africa. This tree is artfully displayed through lighting features and sculpture as well as the tree itself planted throughout the property.

Palapas-style structures (an open-sided dwelling with a thatched roof) dot the property and serve as restaurants, pool bars and shade structures. The largest such structure is found centrally on the site and adjacent to the entry/registration area. With its 21-meter-high peaked roof and local wooden architecture it strikes a unique and stunning focal point. 

The interplay of exterior and interior spaces was a very important element employed by the landscape architect when designing the experience of Baobab. Buildings, landscape, hardscape and water all connect to and through each other in the creation of the guest experience. Pergolas and artful shade structures provide needed respite from the sun without closing off spaces. All rooms look into open-air courtyards, each with a unique design providing varied experiences all within the African motif.

Water is also used as a linking element as it flows in many forms throughout the resort. Tropical landscape, meandering pathways, wooden bridges and varied levels of walkways help connect the pedestrian to the lazy river, ponds, waterfalls and the resort’s many pools that make up these water elements.

The landscape architects always took into consideration visual corridors when designing arrivals or connections from one building to the next. These connections are heightened by the openness of the structures. The dunes, found on the east side of the resort, were also used as a focal point throughout the property highlighting their influence and importance to the region. They are protected by the Canary Islands and the resort incorporates educational opportunities as part of their recreational offerings. 

For families there is 'Panchi World', a children’s paradise where excellent supervision and a broad spectrum of adventure and leisure activities ensure that boredom will be unknown among the little ones and that their parents can relax and recuperate in peace. The African kids leisure park with its water playground, stage, snack bar and water games is a kids-zone with playground and water jets all designed to feel like an African village. Two zero entry children’s pools are also located nearby as well as the lazy river. Adults have six additional pools (creating a total of nine on the property) from which to choose, each impressively landscaped with water features and private lounging areas.   

The landscape architects were involved with the implementation of the Baobab Resort from visioning through construction administration. This included site planning and layout of amenities and circulation patterns, planting plan design, paving patterns, hardscape elements and furniture as well. This successful Resort has helped to increase the economy of the southern portion of the island which depends strongly on its resort properties. Not only does the resort draw tourists, mainly from Northern Europe and the United Kingdom, but it also employs many local people as well. Baobab has been one of the most successful resorts in the region, enjoying very high occupancy rates since opening in 2009.


 Architect: Simeon Halstead - Arcadia

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