Tudela-Culip Restoration Project in
Cap de Creus by EMF and Ardèvol


Landscape architects EMF teamed up with architecture firm Ardèvol to remove over 400 buildings from a former holiday village in eastern Spain and transform the landscape into a series of meandering pathways and coastal viewpoints (+ movie).

Tudela-Culip Restoration Project by EMF and Ardèvol
Pegmatite tranch

The Tudela-Culip (Club Med) resort at Cap de Creus in Cadaqués had been a holiday destination for 900 tourists every summer, but in 1998 the coastal site was given protected status as a Natural Park and the resort was forced to close its doors five years later.

Tudela-Culip Restoration Project by EMF and Ardèvol
Illa de Portal Viewpoint

Working alongside over 50 specialist consultants, EMF and Ardèvol were able to deconstruct most of the buildings of the Tudela-Culip and restore the natural landscape amidst a series of architectural interventions.

Tudela-Culip Restoration Project by EMF and Ardèvol
Cubes Viewpoint

The most prominent addition to the site is the Cubes Viewpoint, a pair of Corten steel structures facing out to sea, while slabs of stone and more Corten steel were used to create seating areas and landmarks elsewhere around the park.

Tudela-Culip Restoration Project by EMF and Ardèvol
Tertiary pathways

Pathways are divided into a three-tier hierarchy. The main access road is laid in asphalt, secondary pathways are formed from concrete, and informal routes are defined by ankle-height metal railings.

Tudela-Culip Restoration Project by EMF and Ardèvol
Animal-rock silhouette identification markers

Small Corten panels scattered around the site feature cutaways that highlight how some of the natural rock formations resemble animals.

Tudela-Culip Restoration Project by EMF and Ardèvol
Re-established drainage channels

The five-year-long project was completed in 2010, but recently received the Rosa Barba European Landscape Prize at the 7 European Biennial of Landscape Architecture.

Tudela-Culip Restoration Project by EMF and Ardèvol
Site overview

See more landscape architecture on Dezeen, including a colourful Copenhagen park by BIG and a staggered concrete square in Zaragoza, Spain.

Tudela-Culip Restoration Project by EMF and Ardèvol
Site before demolition

Photography is by Martí Franch, Pau Ardèvol and Esteve Bosc.

Read on for more details from the design team:

Tudela-Culip (Club Med) Restoration Project in the Natural Parc 'Cap de Creus'

This project is a showcase for landscape driven nature restoration projects. It turns a demolition order, a purely and strictly habitat reclamation, into a creative landscape restoration development. Through necessarily inexpensive actions, the design skilfully construes and orchestrates the deconstruction as a combination of destruction and construction to celebrate the site’s peculiarities, both natural and cultural. It proposes ways to choreograph on-site visitors into a narrative that stimulates the culture in nature in an innovative approach to finally question whether erasing and voiding is just as valid as filling in and adding.

Tudela-Culip Restoration Project by EMF and Ardèvol
Site plan - click for larger image

Location: Cap de Creus cape, Cadaqués, Catalunya, Spain
Area: 90 ha
Period of design: 2005-2007
Implementation period: 2009-2010

Landscape architects: EMF landscape architects - Martí Franch
Collaborators EMF: M. Batalla, M. Bianchi, A. Lopez, G. Batllori, L. Majer, C. Gomes M. Solé, L. Ochoa, J.L Campoy
Architects: J/T Ardèvol S.L. - Ton Ardèvol
Collaborators Ardèvols: Raul Lopez, Cristina Carmona.

Tudela-Culip Restoration Project by EMF and Ardèvol
Deconstruction process - click for larger image

Commissioned by: Ministerio de Medio Ambiente, Medio Rural y Marino. Generalitat de Catalunya. Gestora de runes de la construcció S.A. Parc Natural del Cap de Creus.

Construction companies:
Tragsa (deconstruction)
Control Demeter and Massachs Excavacions S.L.U. (deconstruction, waste management, Restoration and re-urbanization)
Jardinería Sant Narcís (invasive exotic flora extraction)
Serralleria Ferran Collel (viewpoints, totems, terciary path, animal rock identification)

  • Egberto Moreira

    Magnificent project of landscape restoration! This is a MUST SEE to any landscape architect or environmental manager.

    The project requalifies an otherwise cluttered coastal contour by removing significant amount of anthropogenic permanent insertions, taking advantage of a few structures in a rather minimalist fashion, reducing the anthropogenic aesthetic intrusion, but ensuring some landmarks of notable value and unquestionable virtue to human interest.

    Truly a brilliant environmental conservation effort!

  • Beautiful project, so much attention in the details of the landscape to restore it. Thumbs up for the team (not only the architects).

    It let me think about how many amazing natural sites are being destroyed all around the world because of a greedy “tourism industry” and how much additional energy, resources and work is required to get them back, if ever.

  • blah

    Stunning. It looks more like a sculptural intervention or land art than anything.

  • mackey