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Residential Retreat in Mallorca

House in Majorca, Balearics, Spain – design by herrerosarquitectos

9 Feb 2010

Casa Mallorca

Architect: herrerosarquitectos

Location: Mallorca, Balearic Islands

Casa Mallorca

The project converts an existing vernacular structure that formerly served as a refuge for shepherds into a small residence for occasional use.

The approach consisted of replicating the original volume symmetrically to conserve the original conditions and technical function of an apparently innocent construction that was designed intelligently where its orientation, ventilation and water collection facilities, etc. were concerned.

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Photographs: José Hevia

A dry-constructed outer wall stimulates an open and voluntary dialogue with the different aspects of the local climate. Seeing, lighting, ventilating or heating are various operations associated with two independent systems of openings and shutters that imbue the northern and southern faces with an ambiguous and enigmatic look. The interior reproduces the original and primitive compartments (for animals, shepherds and forage) in two directions: North (kitchen, bedroom and bathroom) and South (dining room, living room and study). Each compartment contains one single major object (table, sofa, writing desk, bath, bed and cooker) which serves to define each space and its use.

The original typology is based on increasing the main façade, the only one that could be opened and is heated by the sun. In our project, we preserve this condition duplicating the main façade searching for the sun and the North light in the opposite direction, without contradicting the original character.

Its inverted roof provides the house with highly effective natural cross-ventilation, adjustable by the user who, opening or closing the top and bottom windows, creates a perfect climate according to each season.

The proposed little house supports the lightweight spirit of the original construction. It preserves the impressive lateral stone wall and supports the idea of the big hollows, which duplicated, become doubly enriching for the house.

The original house has a gutter that collects rain water and leads to a cistern where it is stored. The proposal maintains this system and further optimizes it. The two slopes of the roof carry the water to the gutter which maintains its original position, and then it leads to the cistern.

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Casa Mallorca – Building Information

Title: Refuge on the Countryside
Commission: Completed
Gross Floor Area: approx 130 m2
Client: Pepe Cobo
Architecture: Herreros Arquitectos
Director: Juan Herreros
Collaborators: Víctor Garzón & Verónica Melendez (Project)
Carlos Serra (Site Management)
Structural Engineer: Eduardo Barrón
Contractor: Rafael Martet

Casa Mallorca images / information from herrerosarquitectos

Location: Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain

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Website: Mallorca