The rooftop pool landscape at the Hotel Olympus Palace in Salou, Spain, has utilised large-size ceramic tiles from Agrob Buchtal with great effect. TSJ reports on this highly successful project.
The water shimmering mysteriously blue through the glass panels of the rooftop pool is already visible from afar and makes the roof of the Hotel Olympus Palace, Salou, Spain, an unmistakable landmark, especially in the evening.
Hotel guests and passers-by who have become curious and visit this roof terrace find a new open area with a large pool landscape designed by the Barcelona architecture office Matic & Garau. With sand-beige porcelain stoneware tiles from the Valley collection by Agrob Buchtal, the restrained, elegant area invites swimmers and sunbather alike, but also can be enjoyed while sipping delicious drinks, and experiencing events, at the bar.
The extensive renovation of the hotel, which was built in the mid-1970s and has around 250 rooms, was completed in 2018 and focused in particular on the 1,600 sq. metre roof area above the 6th floor.
The Hotel Olympus Palace is situated in the tourist centre of Salou, 300 metres from the beach. The whole building features both air conditioning and heating. Each guest room is equipped with bathroom, outside terrace, hairdryer, telephone, LCD TV, safe, and mini fridge.
On the ground floor, the hotel has a large main pool, with separate area for children. In the attic, Water Zone with whirlpool, jacuzzi, solarium, bar ... and, during the night, a very impressive terrace lounge-bar and chill out zone: Summit.
As well as a children´s playground, the hotel also boasts a bar-coffee shop and buffet restaurant offering themed dinners on Fridays.
This is a thoroughly contemporary establishment, with free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, Internet corner and conference room.
The hotel, which offers a varied entertainment programme, with live music and different shows, aims to be the perfect holiday destination.
Located high above the centre of the city, not far from Tarragona, there was previously only a small water basin, two whirlpools, and a few areas for deck chairs on the roof. In their place, the hotel operators wanted to create a spacious roof terrace with pools, fitness area, bar and plenty of space for sunbathing.
"The aim was to create a spectacular roof landscape that would change the image of the hotel and which is unique in Salou," explains the architect Dubravka Matic.
"The hotel guests should not only enjoy the refreshing water, the cool wind and the view of the Mediterranean Sea, but also the relaxed lounge atmosphere with evening events and concerts around the bar.”
For the architects, the restructuring of the roof area was particularly challenging because the location and size of the water basins had to be precisely matched to the load-bearing capacity of the existing structure, the existing pipes and the position of numerous vertical exhaust air shafts.
Right from the beginning, the design concept provided for a raised pool area in the centre of the southern part of the roof area with a water surface approximately 1.5 metre above the U-shaped sun-deck around it.
This solution enabled long glass panels in the pool side walls, which offer swimming and diving bathers a view over the city and the sea, but also open up unusual underwater views in the opposite direction.
Reminiscent of the Costa Daurada
A glance through these glass panels into the interior of the pool reveals another special feature: large-size sand-beige porcelain stoneware tiles from the Valley series of Agrob Buchtal, which lend the 85 sq. metre pool an unobtrusive nobility thanks to their earthy relief structure and natural look.
After tests carried out specifically for this purpose, the architects specified these tiles because they perfectly harmonise with the nearby sandy beaches and rocks of the Costa Daurada, but also because they make the water sparkle particularly intensely blue in the sun.
"The light colour and the large formats should also create a modern appearance and avoid overheating," says Matic.
The 600 by 1,200mm format used for the pool floors and walls not only offers an exceptional visual impression but also the advantage of a low proportion of joints, so that the cleaning effort for the tiles is comparatively low despite the appropriate slip resistance. The same applies to the 15 sq. metre whirlpool, which is also located in the raised pool area directly next to the 20 metre long large pool.
The pairs of columns placed in the centre of the pool area were also clad with large-size porcelain stoneware tiles from the Valley range. These columns support a kind of white pergola with a similar cross-section, which extends over the entire width of the building.
The columns discreetly hide the ventilation shafts of the hotel bathrooms, while the pergola helps to create a striking roof structure and accommodates the LED lighting.
The cover of the pool edge, the pool surrounds, the outer side walls of the pool and the floors of the sun-decks are made of a wood-plastic composite material.
The architects chose this wood-like material to create a differentiated transition zone between the water basin and the northern part of the roof area with lounge, bar and further deck chair areas.
The latter areas, as well as the cladding of the pools, were also achieved using Agrob Buchtal's Valley series, in the form of 20mm thick, sand-beige patio tiles, with appropriate slip-resistance, in a 600 by 600mm format.
The laying was carried out on elevated posts. This was for two main reasons. The first is so that the rainwater - as before the conversion - can be collected and drained in the space between the roof construction and the roof.
The second main factor was to enable the floor to be opened easily for inspection work.
The result of the construction works, carried out exclusively during the hotel’s winter closing time, is a homogeneous, elegant roof landscape that is generous in scale.
The operators have thus achieved their goal: the Olympus Palace is now the only hotel in Salou with such a rooftop feature. And the pool’s appeal is now on everyone's lips today.
The number of participants in the hotel’s music events has also increased noticeably. Both hotel guests and external visitors enjoy staying there - not only to sip cocktails at the bar, but also to take Instagramable underwater photos in the hotel’s pool.
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