La Caracola by Toyo Ito a modern ruin


In the early 2000s Torrevieja, a city known for its beach tourists, wanted to make the city more attractive to other tourists. They decided to make use of the salty lagoons in the outskirts of the city.

Japanese architect Toyo Ito was commissioned to design a relaxation park to channel the demand for mud baths that are traditionally taken in the salt flats along the lagoon. It was an ambitious building design shaped like a counch (la caracola in spanish) with five spirals, clad in plywood, resting on a concrete structure.

The building was never completed due to various reasons. One being the financial crisis in 2008. In the years following the crisis the building was taken over by homeless people, and in 2012 there was a fire that destroyed parts of the building.

Later, the building has become a place for local youths who want to hang out or use it as a location for photoshoots. Now, La Caracola, stands as a modern ruin along Laguna Rosa. Source by Kyrre Sundal.

  • Location: Calle Rafael González Machaquito, Torrevieja, Spain
  • Architect: Toyo Ito
  • Client: Torrevieja Town Council
  • Photographs: Courtesy to Kyrre Sundal