Hotel megastructures: the Balaia “turn key” experience in Portugal
Susana Lobo

The Balaia Hotel (1964–1968) near Albufeira, in the Algarve, designed by Francisco Conceição Silva and Maurício de Vasconcellos, is one of the first and most iconic seaside holiday megastructures built in Portugal. In its territorial approach, physical dimension and range of amenities, it represents a new stage of development in seaside tourism accommodation facilities. A self-contained and self-sufficient structure that shapes its own landscape. Also, the “turn key” commission implied the transition from the small-scale architecture office to the multidisciplinary design and planning firm, revolutionizing the Portuguese architectural culture and professional practice. This essay addresses the impact of the Balaia Hotel on the traditional structures of architecture production and, consequently, on the disciplinary debate of the 1960s in Portugal.

Modern Movement, Modern architecture, Holiday architecture, Leisure architecture, Tourism modern architecture, Portuguese modern architecture, Modern hotels, Balaia Hotel.

Issue 60
Year 2019
Pages 42-49

PDF (English)