Lover’s House
Refurbishment of a house that does not yet exist
Location: Santa María del Camí, Mallorca
Year: 2020
Architect: isla (Juan Palencia)
Collaborators: Marta Colón de Carvajal,  Nelson Fidalgo
Team: Katerina Kulanova
Photos: Luis Díaz Díaz
Status: Completed
Previous architect: Pedro Rabassa (Proyecto básico, initial Proyecto ejecutivo and Dirección de obra at 23% (basement and building foundations, and starts of the walls) until the work is abandoned of his own will)

They propose us a new project to jump into: To turn a skeleton under construction into a house to sell, with the premise that it stands out within the local real estate market, offering a place to enjoy the island and its climate as a retreat. The house is inserted in a rustic land in Santa Maria, in the Pla de Mallorca, the flat area in the center of the island, surrounded by vineyards and protected by a pine forest that the client has been planting for years, with sun all day and panoramic views of the Tramuntana.

In this commission, developed on the traces of a project by a previous architect, abandoned at the beginning of its execution with little more than the foundations and wall starts erected, it was decided to take on a complex task: to give a new character and a more contemporary approach to the previous project. 

To this end, numerous actions were carried out such as a complete reinterpretation of the palette of materials, characterized by the reddish color of the earth of this area of the island, the redistribution of both interior and exterior spaces, reorganisation of the wall openings, revision of all constructive solutions in the house, a whole set of new built-in elements and pieces were developed and custom-made for the project such as floors, benches, the fireplace, cornises, sinks, windows, etc., and finally, a landscaping concept was devised to integrate the house into its surroundings.

Entrance ramp

The porch

The access is made through the pine forest from the ‘camí’ until we reach the house, that appears totally closed, recreating the local Arab influences. A curved ramp leads to the entrance through a wild garden parallel to one of the walls. Once on the porch, a large floor-to-ceiling pivoting door opens inviting us to enter.

Main door

The hall opened to the long patio

Flashed doors allow a better understanding of the volumes.

South window

The custom-made chimney

Section of external south window with integrated shutter

Custom floating chimney with retractable C-shape steel sides, and prefab concrete bench

Custom-made concrete reddish bench...

... and cornice

The kitchen is to the North, independent but visually connected to the living room, and has its own patio open to the twin mountains of Alaró.  

The kitchen opens to West

A specific materiality is proposed to integrate the house and almost camouflage it with the local landscape. On the outside, the walls are plastered with a rough rust coloured mortar making the house blend in with the land.

Inside, the palette is reduced to tinted concrete of the same reddish color, white, copper and natural wood, giving the house a warm and natural atmosphere. The floor, locally manufactured by Huguet and custom designed for the project, goes in and out diluting the limit of the house, while a series of elements also made of red tinted concrete -washbasins, showers, fireplace and benches- equip the different spaces. This limited palette of materials reveals the simple geometry of the building and creates a visual and tactile continuity between the architecture and its surroundings. Monochrome and vibrant, the house changes hues during the day, reacting to the sun and land, revealing movement through shadows and changing material nuances.

Monochromatic bathrooms

Custom made Huguet elements and copper elements

The pool is detached from the house so it gets its own space, and slides as another volume of the house that emerges from the ground, allowing to swim from the Tramuntana to the Puig de Ses Coves.

The pool