Skyscraper – the origin of the term
A skyscraper has not always been as we see it today. Originally it was used at sea, to describe a high mast on a sailing ship. Nowadays it is exclusively used to describe particularly high constructions in a form of a tall building. The term was first used in America, more specifically in Chicago in 1885, on the Home Insurance Building that was 10 stories and 42 meters tall.
Since the term came from America, it is originally measured in feet. And today’s definition of a Skyscraper is buildings higher than 500 feet, or about 152.5 meters. In Europe, it has gradually become common to use 150 meters as a definition. Buildings taller than 350 meters is defined as a super-high skyscraper. There are 88 of them in the world, non of them are in Europe.
In the 19th century, it was unusual to have constructions on more than six floors; it became too tiring for people to walk the stairs and the water pressure in the water pipes reached only 15 meters up in the building. Developments in steel, rebar, lifts, and water pumps made skyscrapers possible.
Until January 4, 2010, Taipei 101 in Taipei was officially considered the world’s tallest skyscraper, with its 508 meters. On this date, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai was officially inaugurated, taking over the lead with its 828 meters. Taipei 101 is today the 10th highest skyscraper in the world.
Madrid has the four tallest in Spain
The four tallest buildings are, maybe not unexpected, in Madrid. From the left; The smallest Torre Espacio with “only” 230 meters, next to the tallest in Spain, Torre de Cristal with 249 meters. Then there is Torre PwC with 236 meters and the last Torre PwC with 248,3 meters. Unlike Benidorm, the constructions are gathered in a cluster, unlike those in Benidorm.
Skyscrapers in Benidorm
There are in total 13 construction buildings in Spain, considered as skyscrapers as previously described. 3 out of them are located in Benidorm, 6 in Madrid, 2 in Barcelona, 1 in Seville, and 1 in Bilbao. Altogether there are 27 construction buildings in Benidorm alone, with 100 meters or more.
Three of them are built before 2001, and two of them after 2009. Meaning more than 80% of them were built between 2001 and 2009. Had it not been for the financial crash in 2008, there would probably have been significantly more.
This is very unique since Benidorm has less than 60.000 habitats, and why some call it Manhattan of Spain.
Intempo – 5th highest in Spain
The tallest building in Benidorm is still under construction, even though it should be finished in 2010, something the crisis in 2008 put a stop to. The construction was almost completed in March 2014, but the sponsoring undertaking went into bankruptcy. The latest expectation was that it should be fully finished in the first quarter of 2021. But since it is already the end of March 21, it does not seem to be so.
The construction is 192 meters tall and has 52 floors, including 5 underground, and will be the highest residential building in Europe.
It is the tallest building in the world, in a city with less than 1oo.000 inhabitants. It is as well the 5th tallest construction in Spain, only having 4 taller in Madrid.
Gran Hotel Bali – the 6sth highest in Spain
Gran Hotel Bali is the second tallest building in Benidorm and a 4 stars hotel. It is 186 meters high (210 meters including the mast) and has in total 50 floors. It was the tallest building on Europe’s Mediterranean coast when it was completed in 2002.
This hotel, which is actually a set of four buildings, has 776 rooms with a capacity for up to 2,000 guests. The construction has 18 lifts, gardens, and swimming pools. It is located in La Cala de Benidorm. On the side of Benidorm that are called Poniente.
The hotel opened its doors on 17 May 2002, and since it has been the first official skyscraper and the “great hall” of Costa Blanca.
It is located on the south side of Poniente. It is very close to Poniente beach, but even closer to Cala de Finestrat. Therefore, it is easiest for guests at the hotel to use this beach.
Torre Lúgano – the 10th highest in Spain
The third tallest of Benidorm’s skyscrapers is Torre Lúgano. This construction was completed in 2008 and was up to Intempo arrived the tallest residential building in Spain, with 158 meters and 43 floors in total.
This construction is maybe the most visible of the skyscrapers in Benidorm, due to its location. It is easy to see on the north side of Rincon up in the hill, towards the cross.
When completed it was surpassing Neguri Gane with up to that point had been the tallest residential building in Spain. Neguri Gane is 145 meters tall and has 43 floors, completed in 2001. As well located in Benidorm.
Because of its location, the building reaches 237 meters high measured from sea level, making it the peak of Benidorm’s skyline.
Gemelos 22 – the 27th tallest in Benidorm
There are all together, as earlier mentioned, 27 buildings in Benidorm alone that have 100 meters or more. This twin tower is the smallest one, at 100 meters. It was completed in 2002 and has 33 floors.
Most of these apartments are rented out for short time holidays and the community has a huge area with lots of activities. It is mostly English and Dutch people renting here.
On the corners of the 26th floor, there are duplex apartments with private balconies of 80 square meters. With, as you can imagine, has a fantastic view.
What makes this so special?
There are very few cities in the world with a population of less than 100,000 that have buildings higher than 100 meters. In Europe, there are probably only two. One is the Odeon Tower in Monaco (38,000 inhabitants) which was completed in 2015, which is 170 meters high with 49 floors. The other is in Rottweil, Germany (25,000 inhabitants), and is a 244 meters high elevator-testing tower and observation deck completed in 2017.
Benidorm with its approximately 75,000 inhabitants and 27 buildings higher than 100 meters makes this city that has the most high-rise buildings in the world per capita. Since this development of Benidorm has a history dating back to the 1950s, many say this is the birthplace of package tourism.
Follow The Costa Blanca Guide
Like The Costa Blanca Guide on Facebook Get daily updates on what’s happening and discover things to do, as well as similar articles as this one regarding skyscrapers in Spain and in Costa Blanca.
Sign up on our website and receive a simple monthly newsletter for an overview of what happened last month and what’s coming. Go to the Frontpage and select “Sign in” in the upper right corner.