The María Zambrano shopping area is located right in the centre of Malaga, playing a vital role and contributing to the revival of the old Barrio de la Estación (Station District), in that it is home to the infrastructure and services linked to the long-distance train and Cercanias suburban rail stations as well as a leisure complex. The different uses are articulated around a public building that energises its surroundings and favours the growth of the city. The main 3,000 m², 12-meter high entrance hall has a dual function: on the one hand it provides access to the platform area and, on the other, it serves as the starting point of the shopping route, connecting with the accesses located at the other two façades.
The language used and the homogeneity of the materials on the outside of the building help convey the idea of a single volume, even though it has different uses in its interior. The intervention, which takes the form of an “L”, apparently has the same roof height throughout with the exception of the main body of the hotel, which rises 33.50 m above ground level and has seven floors devoted to its exclusive use above the centre’s roof. As a result, the building is basically laid out on two floors (shopping area and leisure area) apart from some intentional double heights in communal circulation areas and in the main lobby.