Carlos Lamela, the executive president of Estudio Lamela, is one of Spain's leading architects. He is working with SCT Arquitectura on the redevelopment of the Hotel Formentor, which he says will be faithfully rebuilt following its complete demolition.
He accepts that "all eyes are on the work" and is aware that "everything must be done perfectly". "Our commitment is to the client, but also to the whole of society. The Hotel Formentor is going to be faithful to its history but at the same time it is going to have endowments that it did not have before. We are talking about a first-class establishment worldwide. It demands a series of facilities that it did not have before."
"It's an important project. We all know that for the Balearics, for Spain and for the hotel world, Formentor is a benchmark establishment and always has been. For us, it is a source of pride. My father stayed there in the '50's and '60s. I know its historical importance, its relationship with culture, e.g. through the Formentor prizes. I understand the concern of Balearic society, and when the work is finished, people will see that it was completely necessary. I understand that there are very sensitive issues and that it is difficult to remove doubts when there is nothing there just now. Sometimes for things to last they have to disappear temporarily."
The initial comprehensive redevelopment and expansion project contemplated the demolition and redistribution of all the interiors but not of the hotel's facades. Yet this has happened. He explains that it was impossible to maintain the original walls. They had deteriorated so much and the building was so precarious that it was impossible to comply with the technical specification. "But everything will be reconstructed, adapting it exactly to the current parameters. From the outset we knew that it was a complex task, not because of demolition, but because of where it is, with the logistical difficulties that this entails, and because of its history."
He stresses that "we are all professionals with great experience". "And it is not possible to believe that Four Seasons, one of the most important hotel chains in the world, would do something that compromises the heritage and the landscape. We seek absolute excellence in all respects."