Ca’n Rei
Renovation of a XVII century townhouse
Location: Banyalbufar, Mallorca
Year: 2017
Architects: isla (Marta Colón de Carvajal, Juan Palencia)
Teules pintades: Luis Úrculo
Photos: Luis Díaz Díaz
Status: Completed

Es Penyal neighborhood in the upper part of Banyalbufar

Isla has completed the renovation of an old Mallorcan townhouse in Banyalbufar – a coastal village nestled within the mountain range of the Serra de Tramuntana – that involved restoring the main structure, roof and facade, as well as rearranging the interiors. The main strategy consisted on removing all non-original elements added over the years in order to enhance the character of the house, from floors to furniture. Once cleaned, new contemporary elements were introduced.

The kitchen

Looking towards the sea

This balance between new and old, sleek and rustic brings a new life to Ca’n Rei, allowing to understand traditional architecture through a contemporary lens.

The living room

The kitchen is concealed within the walls in order to enhance the purity of the vaulted ceiling room. This allows for added flexibility in the space. Existing niches were enlarged to accommodate appliances such as a fridge, oven and washing machine, and all necessary storage for tableware, kitchen utensils, food, and cleaning supplies. The stove was placed below the window, offering the experience of cooking with views over the Mediterranean Sea and connecting the kitchen to the exterior terrace space.

GF Plan

The kitchen sink is made out of tinted concrete and is hand-hammered, to express its materiality, as a contemporary reinterpretation of a traditional Mallorcan stone sink.  The tap is a simple, custom-made bent brass pipe. A bright red table – designed especially for the room- becomes the node of the concealed kitchen, allowing meals, work, or celebration to happen.

’Diagonal’ table, custom made for the space

Huguet’s concrete custom sink and taps

The space was cleaned to emphasize the original furniture of the house as well as the new additions. Non-original cement tiles were replaced by a “trispol” lime floor, recovering the house’s material essence while enhancing the connection between inside and outside. The vaulted ceiling was treated with quicklime in the traditional manner, achieving a smooth, pure and bright white surface. A pivotant light allows to displace the a ction from the kitchen to the living space.

View towards the stairs

A local, handmade terracotta floor replaced the non-original cement tiles, achieving a warmer, smoother feeling in the space. Windows were opened in the rear facade, allowing for cross-ventilation and the original Mallorcan beds were kept as core elements of the rooms; the height of this traditional furniture allows to enjoy sea views.

The ‘festejador’ traditional window

Upper floor enfilade

Bedroom with new cross ventilation window and old furniture

Traditional symbols and drawings included geometrical patterns, nature and animals or portratis of people from the family.
Following the Mallorcan medieval tradition of painting the underside of the roof tile canopy – “teules pintades” – artist Luis Urculo was invited to reinterpret this popular pictorial expression. The rust-color symbols are meant to bring good luck and keep away bad spirits from the inhabitants of the house.

Teules pintades by Luis Úrculo