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Interview with Benno Bühler. Businessman and architect


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You are an architect with a great deal of experience in the Costa del Sol. Is there what can be considered a typical style of architecture in this area?

Thanks to the diversity of the owners who live here, they have created an interesting microcosm of architectural styles…..which I would call “Marbella Style”: a mixture of Andalusian, American, Arab, Latin American…….with certain central European details. The Costa del Sol has a wide range of constructions, from the most ugly (no style whatsoever) to dream mansions, which are the most spectacular that one can imagine. These are, however, hidden behind gardens and high walls. This rich diversity mixed with the unique gardens in our Costa has always attracted me. Also, since not only am I an architect, but also a valuer, I visit all sorts of places, and know what I am talking about. 

Given the real estate crisis which has affected Spain in general and the Coast in particular, what type of customer are you working with at the moment?

We have noted a strong revival this year 2013, I cannot even remember when I have had so many clients in just half a year. Our clientele is Central European (English and particularly German) but also from the Arab Emirates. And the eastern countries, Russia and Poland, are also showing great interest. 

Is there an architectural style that can be called “timeless”, classic, which can work anywhere in the world?

Timeless refers to anything that is well made…………..the same as watches, yes? 

Now real estate agents must show the Energy Rating of the properties that they sell or rent, but which residential properties or buildings are required to have this Certificate?

The Certificate is obligatory for all buildings, but only if the owner wishes to sell or rent. 

What services will an architect offer when the Energy Rating is made?

The client will know his property better, particularly what has to be done to save energy. And this is precisely what is intended, more awareness on the part of the owners, and as a result, less energy costs. 

If we do not do this, what penalties do we risk?

In Spain all this is still very new, I do not think that even the administration knows yet what consequences all this might have. In other countries like Germany, the Courts are full of petitions by tenants or buyers caused by non-existent or false energy certificates.

 Do you believe that the foreign owners are sufficiently informed about this new regulation which has just become applicable?

There will be owners who have not found out yet, but normally those who have real estate property in Spain will have representatives/friends/lawyers/agents who can keep them informed. 

You are a chartered architect both in Germany as well as Spain. What differences do you find at the time of planning and building in each country?

I left Germany due to the excess bureaucracy in 1995 and now we find that there is more bureaucracy in Spain than in Germany. So much so that I find absurd the amount of documents we have to provide the various administrations. I hope that this will ease in due course. 


Interview by Maria Elena Paganini

Hansa Realty in Google


Published in Costa del Sol Property News |