Leisure deserves all the seriousness in the world, especially to create a center like Odiseo, born to promote the reinvention of tourism in Murcia.
If we think that leisure has a lot to do with mass tourism, we are wrong. Leisure has to do with the constant entertainment that we human beings need. It is our way of linking ourselves to the happiest part, of throwing out of our body the bitter vicissitudes of existence, or of celebrating our greatest successes with joy. Leisure is to humanity, as the Sun is to Earth, without it, there is no future.
This is the new leisure center in Murcia
In 2020, a spectacular leisure center was opened in Murcia that has given, and will give, much to talk about in the coming years, for various reasons. The first, its link to the rejuvenation of the Murcian capital, the second, for its commitment to high-level tourism and, finally, for its avant-garde architecture, which has created one of the most powerful icons in the Mediterranean.
The promoters Grupo Orenes point out that the name of the complex pays tribute to The Odyssey, the book that narrates the unique journey of Odysseus, or Ulysses, after fighting in the Trojan War, until he returned home. During this journey, Odysseus meets several enemies that he must defeat. A literary marvel of the 8th century BC. C. which has now fostered the most modern version of adventure travel.
15,000 square meters dedicated to fun in Murcia
The front of the building presents us with a tall structure that supports the huge sign with the name of the center, 30 meters high. The most incredible thing about this monolith is that it is banked based on tubular elements that «disguise» its structure, stimulating the sensation of buoyancy. Its metal tubes, of different colors and dimensions, rise and fall like stalactites and stalagmites.
Under the 360-degree monolith, we find 15,500 square meters built under the guidelines of Clavel Arquitectos, who have introduced two restaurants, a nightclub, a show room, a casino and a sports bar. To these we must add two floors of underground parking and a swimming pool, essential in any leisure center.
A building that transmits sensations with its shapes and textures
The architecture studio tells us that one of its main objectives was to provoke the user with the sounds of the water, the reflections, or the textures of each part of the building. They have also endowed the visit with psychological meaning, provoking curiosity, astonishment, expectation, surprise, etc. All this through the variety of shapes and dimensions of the materials that disseminate the spaces.
Construction works began in 2017, and were completed last year. The team in charge of the work was the contractor Tecopsa S.A., who indicate on their website that the structure of the building was executed with reinforced concrete, waffle slabs, and post-tensioned slabs with a central core of splinted exposed concrete walls. In addition, they say that the tubular steel profiles reached 50 meters in height, from the base to the top of the building.
You could not miss the pool in Odiseo
Another very important company for the execution of the complex tells us a secret: the pool that is located in the upper part of the building was not originally projected. The company responsible for the structure, Qube Engineering, explains that for its construction a large «UFO or flying saucer» had to be built, supported by the central cores, which not only serves as a transmitter of efforts, but also houses the pool facilities. and the entertainment area.
The pool has become the star of the complex, not only because of its location, but also because of its dimensions: 42 meters long, supported only in its center. This results in two huge 21 meter cantilevers. Not even Odiseo dared so much. In addition, the pool shell is made of reinforced concrete, which adds weight. You will ask yourself: «How did they get it?» Well, using prestressed concrete, which causes a considerable increase in resistance in these structural elements.
The pool is glazed and has spectacular views
It also has glazed elements that allow you to enjoy the side and bottom views. All this turns the pleasant bath into an experience. The terrace, which is divided in two by the pool, seems like a space worth discovering and spending a few pleasant hours.
On the second floor we find another large terrace with a restaurant run by chef Nazario Cano, with a Michelin star, and whose cuisine revolves around three menus: Ares, Ulises and La Odisea. Of course, all made from products from the Murcian garden.
Odiseo is inspired by the Mediterranean and Greek mythology
The interior of the building has been designed with unique parameters, but enhancing the context in which it is immersed. The elements of Odiseo reflect the values of the Mediterranean and Greek mythology, using wood, golden tones, velvets and handcrafted ceramics. In addition, the warm lighting is oriented in the same direction. By the way, the lighting and the facades were the responsibility of the company TM Systems.
To end two notes. The first: the architecture also merges with natural elements, such as different types of fountains, abundant vegetation, generous natural ventilation, elements that help mitigate the effects of the hottest hours, as well as generate an optimal climate. And, the second, the center’s mascot, Lucky, is a huge black and white rabbit that represents the name with which the Iberian Peninsula was baptized: Hispania, land of rabbits.
*Photographs courtesy of David Frutos.