PortAventura Park, Salou, Photos, Spain, Catalunya, Tarragona, Spanish Design, Pictures
PortAventura Salou, Tarragona
PortAventura Park Salou, Tarragonès, Catalonia, España – Costa Dorada Resort, Spain
14 Jul 2010
PortAventura Theme Park Salou : Buildings
Photos © Adrian Welch – key architecture in the city:
The port before and after to the theme park development
Editorial by Isabelle Lomholt:
Looking into the distant horizon I see the brown dry hills of Cap Salou, Spain. From where I stand this landscape bears witness to an astonishing amount of sunshine. We are lucky – the unsheltered heat is far away from our man-made oasis here in the heart of Costa Dorada. We are in Spain’s largest theme park where all you need and even all you didn’t know you needed is at your feet.
PortAventura is, as the name hints at, an adventure theme park with rollercoaster rides, water flumes, carousels, stage and firework shows, boat trips, a steam train ride and of course shops – you name it. Around the park are four hotels, two of which have direct access to the park.
This could to some people understandably sound cringeworthy, claustophobic or fake, but we were so amazed at the quality of the designs at all levels, the layout of the park and craftsmanship that we could only submerge ourselves in this fantasy. Much of the park has been made of wood has been made of wood, this include the rollercoaster ride structures, buildings, some bridges, fences, benches and signs.
The park is themed on five cultures, Mediterranean, Polynesian, Chinese, Mexican and Far West (American). The cultures have their own areas and you walk from one to the other without really noticing. The heavily-landscaped areas and piped music all add to blurring the borders between real and the pretend feeling of having travelled to the other side of the world in less than five minutes.
The hotels, all four star, are also themed, some more than others. We stayed in the Portaventura Hotel – Spanish themed. Here the layout is like a village of many interconnected houses snaking around two large swimming pools and a village square.
The village square with its café, restaurant, shops and a stage comes to life in the evenings when people sit outside enjoying the show and perhaps a glass of sangria or two.
Another hotel is the Gold River Hotel (in the Far West section) complete with hotel rooms inside a mock undertakers, a prison and a saloon. Although the dry heat and dust add to the authenticity, I have to admit the lack of Clint Eastwood is a bit of a let down.
The whole development is richly landscaped with plants relating to the culture of their area, all vegetation is irrigated with regenerated water, all waste produced during pruning is recycled and dug into the soil within the gardens. The development also advertises to have an energy management programme and hold the most widely recognised certificates – I guess that means the development is as eco-friendly as possible for now.
This theme park holiday has been our first holiday of this kind, and not only did it catapult me into what I believe Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory must be like, it also made me ‘switch off’ from everyday life and truly relax in this wonderfully artificial mini world.
Merging Catalan traditions with modern hotel needs
PortAventura Beach Club
Gold River Hotel, PortAventura
Salou Buildings : photographs of key architecture
Location: PortAventura, Salou, Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain, south western Europe
Contemporary Spanish Architectural Projects
Spanish Architectural Designs – chronological list
Spanish Architecture Practices
The Ancient Church of Vilanova de la Barca, Vilanova de la Barca / Lleida
Design: AleaOlea architecture & landscape
photo © Adrià Goula
RIBA Awards for International Excellence 2018
Architecture Developments in cities nearby
Spanish Architecture – Selection
Hotel Puerta America
Design: various interiors by famous architects
Spanish hotel building
Comments / photos for the PortAventura Park – Spanish Resort page welcome
Website: Visit Spain