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Between the economic downturn and high unemployment numbers, the situation in Spain has been challenging, to say the least. But in the city of Benidorm, located on the coast between Malaga and Barcelona, the mood was optimistic. At least it was back in 2007, when construction began on Residencial In Tempo, a glass faced residential high rise—the country’s highest outside of Madrid—slated to open this year.
The original architects came up with the building’s unusual design to commemorate the terrorist attacks in Madrid on March 11, 2004. As a hopeful tribute to the future, the structure “looks like the number 11 and the letter M.” (Source: Wikipedia.)
Unfortunately, plans for greatness had to be significantly revised in 2008 when Spain’s economy took a nosedive. Initially scaled up from 20 stories to 75, the structure ended up with 47 stories. Somewhere along the way, the project became plagued with additional problems as well.
Jamie Condliffe of Gizmodo writes, “Initially funded by a bank called Caixa Galicia, the finances were recently taken over by Sareb—Spain’s so-called “bad bank”—when the mortgage was massively written down.”
But the financing was only part of the problem. Remember the decision to modify the number of floors from 20 to 75 and then to 47? Well, it turns out they should have stuck with the original 20. Or at least they should have been slightly smarter in terms of planning. Condliffe explains, “The original design obviously included specifications for an elevator big enough for a 20-storey building. In the process of scaling things up, however, nobody thought to redesign the elevator system—and, naturally, a 47-storey building requires more space for its lifts and motor equipment. Sadly, that space doesn’t exist.
“Perhaps unsurprisingly, the architects working on the project have resigned, and it remains unclear exactly how the developers will solve the problem.”
For those of you who read Condliffe’s original post, make sure to check the comments at the end of the article. They are quite funny.