Located on the southern coast of Spain, only miles from Morocco, lies the world-renowned Costa del Sol. And while the region has long been considered one of the world's playgrounds for affluent vacationers, there is still plenty of room for new construction, as evidenced by the many cranes and job sites along the coastline. This, combined with a strong renovation market, has made the area a hotbed for stone consumption.

Given the area's status as an international resort area, it is not surprising to see that most of the construction throughout the Costa del Sol - particularly in the upscale town of Marbella - is housing. From seaside villas to upscale hotels, new stone construction is booming in the area. And public spaces, such as parks and pedestrian malls, have followed in kind by using marble, limestone and other materials in their designs.

This feature takes a look at some of the current projects in the region, courtesy of Tino Stone Group, which supplied the stonework for the following jobs:

Hotel Kempinski

A five-star hotel directly on the Mediterranean Sea, the new Hotel Kempinski was designed with extensive use of Crema Reale and Rojo Alicante marble. At the main entry, 12- x 12-inch tiles of Rojo Alicante are set on the diagonal. The tiles feature Tino's "Tempo" finish, which features an antiqued face and rough edges. The Rojo Alicante is complemented by 1- x 1-inch accent dots of Crema Reale as well as a Crema Reale border.

Inside the hotel, the combination of Rojo Alicante and Crema Reale continues, and the stones are used in a variety of finishes, depending on location. In the main lobby, 24- x 24-inch pieces of Rojo Alicante form the field of a grid pattern that features lines of Crema Reale and accent pieces of Oriental Green, an Indian material.

Additionally, the lobby area features Rojo Alicante and Crema Reale on the columns, and the center of the space features the two materials in a circular pattern featuring a starburst at the middle. In other areas of the hotel, such as bathrooms and retail shops, Rojo Alicante and Crema Reale are used with polished and honed finishes, respectively.

At the exterior sitting areas, the Rojo Alicante marble is combined with Macael White marble. The design here has an indoor/outdoor feel, with upscale furnishings and potted palms. In this space, the two stones form a basketweave pattern, and the stone is given a textured finish to add slip-resistance for bathers leaving the pool area.

Seaside Residential Complex

The oceanside streets of Marbella are lined with large multi-story residential buildings. Often, many buildings in an area are part of the same residential complex. Two examples of this are Los Cipreses and Gran Marbella. The predominant building material for these structures is Macael White marble, and the two buildings use over 1,000,000 square feet of stone for the exterior and interior.

The white marble cladding was specified with a bushhammered finish. For the design of Los Cipreses, the white marble is combined with Oriental Green marble from India, which is used as accent banding and also frames a large circular portal looking into the complex.

For the common areas of the complex, the combination of Macael White and Oriental Green was also specified. Macael White is used as paving, and it was specified in a pattern of random-edged pieces with geometrical patterns of Oriental Green running throughout. This color scheme was also used for benches, planters and other cubic elements at the complex.

Currently under construction, the Marina Mariola residential facility has an exterior of Macael White marble. The stone was specified with a bushhammered finish, and split-face Macael White marble was used for the walls dividing the balconies.

Some of the more intricate fabrication work for the project includes radiused corner pieces and a base course that includes sections of polished and bushhammered bands of stone running parallel to each other.

La Alameda Park

Natural stone use at the Costa del Sol is not limited to private construction, however. La Alameda Park, a public statue garden, makes extensive use of Spanish natural stone. The park features paving of Yellow Triana marble, with 60- x 40-cm pavers installed in a running bond pattern.

In addition to paving, Yellow Triana marble was also used for vertical surfaces such as planters and statue bases throughout out the park, with accent strips of Macael White mosaics as an accent. Also, maroon travertine tiles were used to clad the bases of some statuary at the park.

The staircase leading into the park area also makes strong use of Spanish stone. This architectural element features ornately carved balustrades, stair treads, risers and railings, all made from Macael White marble. Additionally, the retaining wall features a mural with geometric forms representing the amenities of the region. Tino Blue marble was used represent the ocean; Yellow Triana is employed in the shape of a sailboat; and Oriental Green forms the nearby mountain range.