by Jerry ElengicalSep 27, 2021
Textured and warm, Lover’s House designed by Isla Architects, reminiscent of Luis Barragán's style, looks out to the Tramuntana mountain range in Spain, revelling in its colour blocked compositions and terracotta pink form. The residence enjoys its location in a rustic island in Santa Maria, Majorca, surrounded by vineyards and protected by a pine forest that the client has been tending to for years, with the Spanish sun for company.
The Spain based practice, led by Marta Colón and Juan Palencia, share that the private client had these wishes – to turn a skeleton house under construction into one that could sell like hot buns on a Sunday morning after mass – for that to happen, the dwelling had to stand out within its locality and its real estate market, offering itself as a romantic retreat to enjoy the island and its warm, lovely climate.
Why the Lover’s House? “The promoter’s name is Amador, which is Spanish for ‘Lover’. The house also transmits a certain sensuality with its warm, reddish tones that adorn its walls and floors, augmented by the natural light that filters inside the house. So, when we started to look for names, this made total sense,” Colón and Palencia share.
The warm and succinctly layered residential architecture exhibits a graphic, drawn quality and took three years to complete. Its layout refers to the works of Catalan architect Josep Antoni Coderch, while its frames and hues are reminiscent of Mexican architect Luis Barragán’s marvelous colour blocked architecture. The concrete walls retain their textured finish and are painted a warm rosy pink while the palette takes on the same warm reddish tint inside.
The house’s 541 sqm program is developed on several axes that articulate along a series of robust walls that are arranged in a north-south direction. The access path is drawn through a pine forest toward the dwelling, which at first glance, appears closed and recreates the local Arab influences. A curved ramp snakes into the entrance through a garden which sits parallel to one of the house’s walls. A massive floor-to-ceiling pivoting door invites one on the porch and into the house.
The house’s materiality integrates and camouflages it with the local landscape. The exterior walls are plastered with a rough, rust coloured mortar. These textured long walls perform as visual settings that encase the island, the mountains, the garden and the pool in lovely frames. “We have tried to establish a precise hierarchy with these openings, to create an abstract composition of the overall volume,” explains Isla Architects.
Echoing the skin, the pink palette follows inside as well, on the walls, floors and beams, while white plaster, natural timber and copper accents provide slight, warm contrast. The foyer stretches to both sides of the longitudinal courtyard and a forest of bamboo is trapped between two long walls, leading onto the bedrooms. The guest room has its own patio and occupies the first volume of the Lover’s House. Two twin bedrooms that share a bathroom and is open to the garden, along with the main bedroom take up space in the south wing, extending onto a quaint, large open patio with a tinted concrete bench outside.
The living room is located in the widest bay of the residential design, its windows framing panoramic views of the Alaró twin mountains that stretches ahead and the garden around the house. The kitchen has been placed to the North, independent from the living space yet connected to it visually. This too has its own patio, with a resplendant view of the Alaró twin mountains. The kitchen is to the north, independent but visually connected to the living room, and has its own patio.
The roof is inclined asymmetrically which allows it to open itself more to the south than the north, “protecting the large windows from the incidence of the sun, which in turn, when open, allow for cross ventilation to better withstand the high temperatures of summer,” explain the architects.
The west wall has an exterior window cut into it, the living room getting a full view of the swimming pool outside. Reflections from the pool dance on the beams of the room inside, creating a wonderful vista. When the living room’s blinds are closed (also in the same colour as the walls and its flanges in metallic tones), it filters the light, and the room aqcuires a deeper, reddish tinge.
The pool is kept detached from the house and get its own space and pocket, another succinct volume of the house that emerges from the earth.
The flooring has been manufactured locally by Huguet and custom designed for the project. Washbasins, showers, fireplace and benches that feature inside the interior design are also made of red tinted concrete. “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,” Sarriá and Carvajal continue.
Name: Lover´s House
Location: Santa María del Camí, Mallorca, Baleares, España
Area: 541 sqm
Year of completion: 2020
Architect: Isla architects
Leading architects: Marta Colón de Carvajal / Juan Palencia de Sarriá
Landscape: Biel Cireé
Builder: Obrema 2000
Collaborators: Nelson Fidalgo Magro, Katerina Kulanova