house for a geometer in Calvia
A Fibonacci door and Double-Helix staircase: Harris Architects’ major structural reformation of a house in Calvia built in the 1980s, based on interplay of contemporary and traditional geometries.
To transform an outdated 1980s house in Calvia into a contemporary home for family and entertaining.
A complete structural transformation of the two story building, creating new spaces on all three levels, including new circulation, increasing natural light, attaching balconies and an entire new roof terrace, all while preserving selected elements of the character of the previous home.
The house for a Geometer rationalises the spatial organisation of the home, both maintaining the original amount of accommodation whilst allowing dramatic new spaces, natural light into the height of the building whilst taking maximum advantage of the previously missed opportunities which the site has to offer, all within the shell of the existing building.
Harris Architects in Calvia
A major challenge facing architects in Calvia particularly, and also across much of Mallorca concerns the great number of houses built 30 to 50 years ago. Often built on the better sites, their accommodation is however intended for a different era, and more often than not built to standards unacceptable today. In the coming decade, as our accepted living standards change, and an increasing number of these building approach the end of their useful lifespan, dramatic changes are often needed.
Nevertheless, can demolition and rebuilding be justified in either environmental or economic terms? What alternatives are there for renewing these kinds of existing but outdated buildings? How can they be revived as new modern spaces which still maintain the grown in character of an existing home?
In this case, our approach is to study the existing, to analyse its weaknesses, and to understand the fundamental discrepancies between its current state and the new uses it needs.
The Fibonacci door, in pale Ash and Dark American oak, reinterprets the classic symmetry of the Santanyi stone archway.
This project transforms the spatial organisation of the home, opening up spaces, views and bringing in natural light, remaining with the perimeter of the earlier building.
Crucial to the success of the project was opening up the center of the house to the southern aspect and views out to the Bay of Palma. Inverting the accommodation allowed the upper floor at entry level to be entirely opened up, with entrance, salon, kitchen and office all forming one continuous space, but separated around a new light-weight staircase.
Natural light was also primary to transform the access to the smaller spaces on the lower floor. The Double Helix spiral staircase, in stainless steel and glass, draws southern light from the new roof terrace to pierce right to bottom of the house. The two flights of the staircase are off-set, taking advantage of the curious geometry of the existing structure.
Certain aspects of the character of the original home have been preserved and reinterpreted. The Fibonacci frontdoor is a response to the classic geometry of the Santanyi stone archway. The regular geometry of the arch is reinterpreted by the asymmetric spiral of the boarding, distinguished by pale ash and dark American Oak. The inner face is of equal importance facing on to the entire upper floor, and inverts the exterior pattern.
The southern facade is totally rebuilt, encouraging a closer relationship between the whole of the upper floor, including the kitchen, and the sea views across the bay. Large new sliding windows open up onto new timber balconies, extending the internal space out beyond the limit of the glass.
The Double Helix staircase by Harris Architects in Calvia, made of stainless steel and etched glass, allows light from the roof terrace above, to pierce down to the heart of the lower bedroom floor.
The project by Harris Architects in Calvia rationalises the spatial organisation of the home, both retaining the original amount of accommodation whilst allowing dramatic new spaces, natural light into the height of the building whilst taking maximum advantage of the previously missed opportunities which the site has to offer, all within the shell of the existing building.
See other new houses by Harris Architects in Pollensa and Santanyi, or further examples of equivalent residential transformations in Calvia and other projects across Mallorca.