THE CHALLENGE

To design a house and pool for a waterlogged site in Pollensa, set back from the prime views of the bay and Sierra de Tramuntana.

THE OUTCOME

A house whose form focuses on the orientation towards the sun and the views available from each level. A curving rooftop infinity pool resolves structural stability and generates a dramatic upper dimension to the house. Large upward facing oval windows face the dramatic clouds and skyscapes over the Tramuntana mountains, as well as the night sky to the west.


Water forms the guiding theme behind the design, compacting the pool, water tanks and house into a single structure, but also permitting the roof top to generate new and dramatic spaces and activities. Water helps to connect project to the particular characteristics of the site.

Harris Architects in Pollensa

As new sites become rarer in Pollensa, those remaining often tend to be those facing greater challenges. The site alone is often insufficient to make a project unique. So, it is increasingly important that design transforms the inconveniences of a site into positive contributions to create an original scheme.

How can the difficulties of a site be turned to the advantage of the house?

Through researching the specific characteristics of the area – from its geological formations, to its flora, together with alternative structural solutions for the unfavourable ground conditions – the project by Harris Architects in Pollensa turns the difficulties of the site to the advantage of the project.

Design Strategy:

THE SITE is a hundred meters back from the beach, and only a few centimeters above sea level. The natural character of the land and its flora is similar to the Pollensa Albufera marshland nearby.

The site retains areas of the original levels, the landscape is divided into summer and winter gardens, each of which use level-changes to provide alternative spaces for contrasting seasons.

The stone walls of the ground floor interweave between rooms and the external garden, allowing transverse views across the garden in two directions from each room.

Harris Architects in Pollensa: The roof provides a terrace with crescent shaped infinity pool overlooking the view East across the Bay of Pollensa.

Harris architects in Pollensa

Design Elements

The first main architectural idea is to resolve structural problems associated with such soft and waterlogged ground conditions. Isolated elements such as pools and water tanks with variable loads, are incorporated into the main body of the building, the deposits forming the foundation, and the 20m pool set at roof level, creating a terrace with a panoramic view of the Bay of Pollença.

On entering the house, the pool can be seen through a porthole above the staircase which allows rippled sun light to shine into the rooms below, recalling the importance of the presence of water on the site, and the significance of its different levels throughout the house.

The second idea is to make each level of the house respond to its surroundings at different scales. The ground floor opens onto the private and differentiated areas of the summer and winter gardens. The first floor opens southwards to the midday sun, and also focuses its view on the mountains to the north east and the flying boat station across the harbour.

The First floor is lit by a variety of openings, including large, deeply recessed elliptical windows. That to the north is angled upwards allowing a glimpse of the mountain tops and a clearer view of the sky, its clouds and stars to the northwest. In a landscape characterised by the Tramuntana, a dramatic northerly wind, the skyscapes form a vital and constantly changing part of the character of place.

Partly glazed openings along the southern facade serve to control and reflect midday light into the main room.

The roof provides a terrace with crescent shaped infinity pool overlooking the view East across the Bay of Pollensa.

Harris Architects in Pollença

 

Water forms the guiding theme behind the design, compacting the pool, water tanks and house into a single structure, but also permitting the roof top to generate new and dramatic spaces and activities. Water helps to connect project to the particular characteristics of the site.

See other new houses by Harris Architects in Santanyi, or further examples of residential transformations in Calvia and other projects across Mallorca.