Marbella – Costa de Verde Golf

Costa de Sol – MARBELLA 

Marbella is located on the Costa del Sol, a narrow coastal plain that runs roughly from Malaga in the east to Gibraltar in the west, and is 160 kilometers long and 5 kilometers inside the land mass, with a beautiful backdrop of Mount Sierra Nevada separating the cost from the interior sandy Mediterranean beaches, villas, hotels, and golf courses. West of Marbella, the Golden Mile of prestigious nightclubs and coastal estates leads to Puerto Banus marina, which is surrounded by upmarket boutiques and bars and is filled with luxury yachts.

Project Location


Marbella’s rapid transformation from a sleepy fishing village to a world-renowned resort – and now a rapidly growing cosmopolitan city – is a fascinating example of how seaside resorts evolve into urban landscapes.
It is a process with its own characteristics, challenges, and opportunities, resulting in a non-typical case study in modern urban development driven by mass tourism.


To begin with, when the area was first discovered, it was a coastal line with a fishing village that was later developed into an international destination. Many important people contributed to the development of Marbella, the first of which was Prince Alfonso de Hohenlohe.
The Prince was so taken with the city that he decided to buy land and develop it commercially, constructing hotels and apartment complexes. In 1954, he founded the Marbella Club Hotel, which still stands on the Golden Mile today. With aristocratic roots and kinship to Europe’s royal courts, Price Hohenlohe quickly persuaded Europe’s ruling elite to spend their vacations in this new hot spot in casual yet discreet luxury.

Former Saudi King and Prime Minister Prince Fahd bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud broke the bank at the Monte Carlo Casino. King Fahd’s love affair with Marbella meant good times for the locals as he paraded around the city spending lavishly.
Aside from that, Glamour and Media coverage acted as a strong source of promotion, as you would spot famous celebrities’ housing by coastline and interior, which led to a day trip in Marbella turned into property search.


Due to numerous changes, Marbella saw an evolution from low-rise development to large apartment complexes and high-end housing complexes, resulting in haphazard construction of villas in Marbella. Demand increased dramatically, but supply was insufficient, resulting in the downfall of Marbella during the 1989 financial crisis. Later, in 1990, Athletico Madrid president Jesus Gill was elected mayor of Marbella, and he continued this space of construction to the next level, in addition to developing many infrastructural projects such as stadiums, Arenas, golf courses, and tourism began to flourish.


Sean Connery chose Marbella for his golden retreats between films. Connery’s divorce from Marbella was precipitated by a photo of him in a golf cart in 1995, at a time when the actor was already complaining about town planning policy under Jess Gil’s mayorship. His beachfront villa had begun to be surrounded by apartment buildings, which, while luxurious, completely changed the appearance of the area. Connery decided to make a splash, selling Malibu and heading to the Bahamas.


Marbella, on Spain’s Costa del Sol, was the Wild West in the late 1990s. Out of pure speculative greed, the mayor at the time, Jesus Gil, encouraged the construction of thousands of homes. Housing towers and residential developments sprouted on land set aside for schools, health centers, parks, and, in one case, a bus station. Following Gil, the mayor’s office was occupied by Julián Muoz, Marisol Yagüe, and Tomás Riones, all of whom maintained similar levels of frantic development – that is, until they were arrested and the entire Marbella government was sacked and replaced with administrators.


Years of rapid growth and development had taken their toll on the town. The town has simply become a symbol of poor planning. Once again, corrupts’ greed turned paradise into a parking lot.


More than half of the Costa del Sol – Costa del Golf’s courses and holes are concentrated in Marbella.
Marbella is the leading municipality, with 15 courses and 243 holes, accounting for more than 20% of the Costa del Golf’s total offer.


Along with the Golf, the other highlighting the importance of selling golf destination, as well as the entire cultural offer of the Costa del Sol – Costa del Golf, Other attractions of great interest for the profile of this segment are the wide range of leisure, fiesta, and health and beauty opportunities, followed by shopping, inland and nature, the beach, and enjoying the magnificent weather, which are all linked to the activity of golf. They also come for MICE and golf for older couples.

Golf + Weather 
Golf + MICE 
Golf + Shopping 
Golf + Gastronomy 
Golf + Villas 
Golf + Culture 
Golf + Leisure + Fiesta 
Golf + Exclusive
Golf + Beaches


Golf course construction and maintenance are harmful to fragile ecosystems all over the world. Its international popularity as a leisure activity is exacerbating the problem, and its acceptance by governments and societies exemplifies the wasteful and shady approach to development that is replicated in miniature on millions of suburban lawns. During the property boom, golf courses were built in Marbella as an attraction to sell the apartments surrounding the golf course, in addition to the location, weather, and so on.

Golf + Green Golf city Marbella

Golf + Water
Golf + Park
Golf + Biodiversity
Golf + Exclusive=Inclusive Marbella

Beginning with the development of a masterplan, existing golf courses in the city of Marbella will be used as the foundation for masterplan spatialization.
Then, once again, marking out the residential blocks assisted in identifying the green pockets around the golf courses, which aided in the approach of proposal, finally arriving at the masterplan by creating green urban fabric that will not only be a golf course and create Marbella inclusive, but also convert golf city Marbella into green golf city Marbella, which covers all the concept features.

Golf + Water

Golf + Park

Golf + Biodiversity

Golf + Exclusive-Inclusive Marbella

Golf + Green Golf city Marbella



Marbella – Costa de Golf is a project of IAAC, Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia developed in the Master in Advanced Architecture 2020/21 by Students: Divya Shah,  Harshul Goti, Vishakha Pathak ; Faculty: Mathilde Marengo, Willy Müller, and Student Assistants: Adriana Aguirre Such, Margherita Pasquali