All about this project is the site: A hill top in Mallorca, an empty natural space offering dramatic topography and fabulous views. How to design a house in such a plot at the best possible location? The program defined by the client demanded maximization of the 360 º panoramic views whilst keeping privacy; is it possible to expose the house to the views and keep privacy?
The design strategy projects the house out of the hill as much as possible; the house “flies out” of the mountain with a dramatic cantilever; by doing this operation, the house takes distance from the street, providing privacy, and opens to the views: the valley and the sea; The organization of the house is very simple but very effective. The house is accessed through a plaza at the back of the house, a Mediterranean plaza paved with local stone and with lush vegetation.
The house hides the view so a surprise effect is achieved once in the house. All the view immediately opens up once entering the house, providing a full panoramic view of the valley and the sea. The are no borders between the interior and the exterior, all is a big open lounge space. The pool due to the infinity effect brings the distant sea closer to the house.
By projecting the first floor out as much as possible a shelter-shade opportunity is given to the ground floor, so the living areas are protected from the strong Mediterranean sun of the island. The program for the ground floor is mainly the living area, kitchen and a small TV room. All house floors are connected through a central core with a glass elevator and a floating stair.
The first floor is the “eagle”, the part of the house leaving the mountain and creating the dramatic unique effect of the house. The bedrooms are located here, all of them with an outdoor terrace. The special location of the master bedroom is an opportunity for a full corner opening maximising the floating effect. The roof top is just a deck, what else can it be at his location.
Breath taking views for extra sitting and lounge areas. The program of the basement is complementary to the house, a garage, a gym, a small Spa and guest accommodation where the basement is visible because of the slope. The glass walls of the pool create an interesting interaction and provide natural light to the basement. The garden design is based on the traditional Mallorcan terracing strategy due to the extreme slope. Different levels, “Bancales” are created using the local stone.
Olive trees, rosemary, lavender an other local plants are planted. Paths are created between the different levels and small plazas, terraces become great viewpoints to enjoy the views. The choice of materials for the house reinforces the concept. The white krion coating at first floor provides lightness to the design, and not less important, less weight to the structure.
Ground floor is mostly glass, both windows and façade, protected from the direct sun by the cantilever of the first floor. The windows with transparent sun protected glass and the façade with ventilated frosted glass. The basement is cladded in the same stone as the mountain so it merges with the rocks. The structure of the house is a big challenge. The concrete structure at the basement is the base for the steel structure of the rest of the house.
The big cantilevers of the project, as already mentioned, protect from the direct sun, so does the design of the fins at first floor, all that combined with the position of the house at the top of the hill makes the house extremely efficient in summer, providing shade and cross ventilation. The house is also built with the highest sustainable standards: passive insulation, ventilated facades and full re usage of rain water and grey waters for irrigation purposes.
WHERE EAGLES DARE a house in connection to the sky. A nest in the mountain. Ethereal architecture for a new time thanks to technology. An opportunity for new materials and construction systems. The house wants to fly and leave the hill, cutting out its natural connection to the ground. Source by GRAS Arquitectos.
- Location: Monport, Port d’Andratx, Mallorca, Spain
- Architect: GRAS Arquitectos
- Project Team: Guillermo Reynés, Álvaro Pérez, Sean Fitzpatrick, Paul Brindle, Don Hobson
- Client: Private
- Size: 1.000 m2
- Year: 2017
- Photographs: José Hevia, Courtesy of GRAS Arquitectos
Article by Marco Rinaldi