HOUSE FOR A GEOMETER IN CALVIA

With a ‘Fibonacci’ door and ‘Double-helix’ staircase, this is a major structural reformation of a 1980’s house in Calvia, based on the interplay of contemporary and traditional geometries.

LocationCosta d'en Blanes
StatusCompleted
ClientPrivate
ServicesDesign, project management

The Fibonacci door, in pale Ash and Dark American oak, reinterprets the classic symmetry of the Santanyi stone archway.

The transformation of an outdated early 80’s house in Calvia, into a contemporary home for family life and entertaining.

A complete structural transformation of the two story building, creating new spaces on both levels and an entire new roof terrace, including totally new circulation, greatly increased levels of natural light, and new attached timber balconies.

The house for a Geometer rationalises the spatial organisation of the home, maintaining the original floor area but allowing dramatic new spaces. Natural light is filtered from the top centre of the building; this reformation takes advantage of the opportunities which the site offers, but within the shell of the existing building.

A major challenge in Calvia particularly but also in much of Mallorca, concerns the great number of houses that are over 30 years old. Often built on the best sites, their accommodation is intended for a different era, and often built to standards that are unacceptable today. In the coming decade, as living standards change, an increasing number of these building will approach the end of their useful lifespan, and dramatic changes will often be needed.

Nevertheless, can demolition and rebuilding be justified in either economic or environmental terms? What alternatives are there for renewing these kinds of outdated buildings? How can they be revived as new modern accommodation while maintaining the grown-in character of the existing home?

In this case our approach has been to study the existing building analyse its weaknesses, in order to understand the fundamental differences between its current state and the new uses that will be required.
The Fibonacci door, in pale Ash and Dark American oak, reinterprets the classic symmetry of the surrounding Santanyi stone archway.

 

The Double Helix staircase is made of stainless steel and etched glass, allowing the light from the roof terrace above, to pierce down to the heart of the lower bedroom floor.

This reformation project transforms the spatial organisation of the home, opening up spaces and bringing in natural light and views, within the perimeter of the existing building.

Crucial to the success of the project was opening up the centre of the house giving a southern aspect and views out to Palma bay from the living room. Inverting the floor levels allowed the upper floor to be entirely opened up at the entry level, with the entrance, salon, kitchen and office all forming one continuous space, arranged around a new glass and steel light-weight staircase.

Natural light was also primary in transforming access to the smaller spaces on the lower floor. The Double Helix spiral staircase, in stainless steel and glass, allows southern light from the new roof terrace to pierce the bottom of the house. The two flights of the staircase are off-set, taking advantage of the curious structural geometry of the existing structure.

Certain aspects of the character of the original home have been preserved and reinterpreted. The Fibonacci front door is a response to the classic geometry of the Santanyi stone archway. The regular arch is reinterpreted using pale ash and dark American oak in an asymmetric spiral; the inner face is of equal importance, inverting the exterior pattern towards the entire upper floor.

The southern facade is totally rebuilt, providing a closer relationship between the whole of the upper floor and the sea views. 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 is made of stainless steel and etched glass, and allows light from the roof terrace above, to penetrate down to the centre of the lower bedroom floor.

The southern facade is totally rebuilt, encouraging a closer relationship between the whole of the upper floor 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.

This project in Calvia rationalises the spatial organisation of the home, retaining the original amount of accommodation while giving dramatic new naturally lighted space within the shell of the existing building.