Thanks to a design flaw, the current lift can't reach the top half of the building. How does this even happen?

Like many of Spain's recent construction efforts, this unfinished mega-project has turned from a sign of a city's rebirth into an infamous symbol of real estate excess. The 47-story "InTempo" apartment towers in the southeast coastal village of Benidorm near Alicante, will become Europe's tallest residential complex, topping off at 650 feet. 


View Larger Map

Construction started in 2007 and was originally targeted for a 2009 opening. Now, the building is now scheduled to receive its first tenants this December. But according to a recent report in El Pais, an error has left the tower with an elevator that can only reach the first 20 floors. The architects have since resigned and refuse to comment on the matter.

The miscalculation is one of many things wrong with the project. Due to financing issues, construction workers were forced to go four months without pay at one point. Until the project reached 23 floors, there was no freight elevator, forcing workers to use the stairs. Once there was one, it collapsed, injuring the 13 workers who were inside it at the time of the incident. 

Despite its tainted image and managing to sell only 35 of its 269 units, the developers haven't lowered InTempo's prices. A one-bedroom apartment starts at $475,459, the price increasing every 10 floors.

Once known as a fishing village, Benidorm saw a glut of tall residential projects define the city's skyline during the early 2000s during Spain's building boom. Its collection of new towers enough to earn the city a new nickname, "Beniyork."

With InTempo, the city of 71,000 certainly has itself a new architectural symbol, just not the kind it was looking for.

(REUTERS/Heino Kalis) 
(REUTERS/Heino Kalis) 

About the Author

Mark Byrnes
Mark Byrnes

Mark Byrnes is a senior associate editor at CityLab who writes about design, history, and photography.

Most Popular

  1. Postcards showing the Woodner when it used to be a luxury apartment-hotel in the '50s and '60s, from the collection of John DeFerrari
    Equity

    The Neighborhood Inside a Building

    D.C.’s massive Woodner apartment building has lived many lives—from fancy hotel to one of the last bastions of affordable housing in a gentrifying neighborhood. Now, it’s on the brink of another change.

  2. Equity

    The Poverty Just Over the Hills From Silicon Valley

    The South Coast, a 30-mile drive from Palo Alto, is facing an affordable-housing shortage that is jeopardizing its agricultural heritage.

  3. Infrastructure

    Vienna Makes Peace With Its Trash

    The famously clean Austrian city boasts one of the world’s most innovative waste processing systems.

  4. Design

    The Military Declares War on Sprawl

    The Pentagon thinks better designed, more walkable bases can help curb obesity and improve troops’ fitness.

  5. Life

    Why a City Block Can Be One of the Loneliest Places on Earth

    Feelings of isolation are common in cities. Let’s take a look at how the built environment plays into that.