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Redefining A Development

Contemporary Super-Prime Development

A highly contentious site perched high in the conservation area on the Rock of Gibraltar with incredible sea views.

Space on this coveted tiny island is a premium. This was previously the site of a hotel until the 1970s from which time it has been disused and was subject to a number of attempts to gain planning for a commercially viable proposition. We convinced the developers to ‘go spectacular’ with x5 cutting-edge super-prime homes rather than 42 basic dwellings.

The Brief

To architecturally design, spatially design and internally detail a number of residential units that would provide the most luxurious and most aspirational properties on Gibraltar whilst at the same time supporting the developer to gain planning permission for this new use.


Gibraltar, Spain


600m² x5

Project Type

Design Proposition


36 Months

Details & Specific Points of Interest

The Head of Environment described our plans as “The most environmentally friendly in the territory. It incorporates the latest energy saving measures and renewable materials.”

Enormous Build Challenges

Firstly there was no planning for this particular principle and the developer relied on Design by UBER to design and present all aspects of the proposition to the Ministers of Gibraltar in order to secure the approval they needed to make this viable.

The site had many complexities. Sitting high up on a very steep section of the rock, the site was narrow, had huge access issues as well as being surrounded by the potential for falling rock as well as being a habitat for the indigenous and highly protected apes.

Every room with a view

In order to maximise the views and provide the scale that a luxury property deserved it was clear that the design would need to be quite vertical and therefore cover a number of levels.

This gave us an opportunity to hide staff accommodation away at the lower level where only a lobby with electric sliding glass doors was part of the owners’ curtilage.

Before & After – Initial Plans

From 42 modest homes...to 5 ultra-home spaces

infinite pool views to north africa

The day living floor features indoor / outdoor kitchen and BBQ facilities as well as a bar that spills out onto a magnificent terrace with a wrap-around infinity pool.

We completed the space with a pagoda set on the edge of the pool with views out to sea and separated each plot with large planting beds for privacy.

the Sanctuary Gibraltar - infinity pool at sunset

Views always in mind

A lift at this point encouraged access to all levels beyond and concluded in a magnificent roof garden with glass box and bar for cosy winter nights with astonishing views of the harbour and beyond.

Outdoor Living

The bedrooms were designed to make the most of the views with all bathrooms having glazed showers with electronic privacy glass and blinds.

The master included a bath set into the glazing for wonderful candlelit moments of pure relaxation with arguably the best views on the peninsula.

All bedrooms included bar facilities and of course a lounge area to enjoy this spectacular setting.

Gibraltar is a self-governing British Overseas Territory of just 6.8 square km. The territory lies on the Strait of Gibraltar where the Mediterranean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean.

New properties of any size are a rarity in Gibraltar, since space is at a premium. For this reason, The Sanctuary is special. The enclave of just five ultra-luxurious properties – three central square villas, flanked by two curved villas – offers space, peace, views and security.

Simon evans, managing director

Let’s discuss your project

Send us some details of the project you have in mind by filling in our project contact form to better prepare us for your project requirements and we will book a call with you to discuss your new design.