Total reformation of a coastal cliff-edge house in the UNESCO World Heritage Sierra de Tramuntana.
Designed to transform and enlarge a severely dated 20 year old house, the project re-imagines the connection between the interior of the home and the spectacular cliff-top setting facing west along the North Coast of Mallorca.
Location: view of the cliff-top
The site: view from the cliff-edge
The site covers a roughly triangular part of a clifftop facing west along the Sierra de Tramuntana, perched 420m above sea level. The previous building, a narrow box, stood close to the cliff-edge facing onto the closest point of the precipice. This made the building seem both disconcertingly exposed, and uncomfortably narrow, its living spaces pushed against the cliff.
The design strategy focused on re-orientating the building along the cliff-top, maximising both the depth of the internal view through the ground floor and giving the garden an impression of spaciousness and distance from the cliff edge.
The project reused the previous structure, and part of the facade stonework, extending the building to the NW and SE.
The angular geometry of the W facade both breaks up the building’s volume, and provides different views from each of the internal spaces.
The ground floor is opened up, connecting different areas and enabling views of the horizon from the far end of the house.
Facing East: The new diagonal axis enhances the feeling of spaciousness, with an internal view of almost 20m across the ground floor.
The existing building has been substantially enlarged, adding to the structure of the existing house, to give accommodation which takes full advantage of the site, the views and the environmental conditions.
The internal accommodation on two floor levels, provides an open-plan living floor plus four en-suite double bedrooms connected by a concrete spiral staircase to the basement utility and services area below.
The new entrance extension is softened by the slanting angle to the street, the sloping eave and rounded corner.
The open plan allows both morning, midday and afternoon sunlight to illuminate the main ground floor space. Significant structural modifications were required to remove central columns.
Western cliff-top facade
Eastern street facade
The new stonework, an essential planning requirement, is tied into the previous stonework on the north and south facades. Balustrades and sheet ceramic window reveals give sharp definition to rough stone edges. Large shutters and windows slide within the wall thickness.
The site is within the UNESCO World Heritage area, consequently the sensitive urban planning factors have been carefully weighed in order to gain consent from the Consell de Mallorca besides the Townhall.
The materials have been selected to withstand the significant conditions of exposure which affect the cliff top site, both extreme winds and intense glare from the Western sun over the sea.
This project involves the complete reformation of a 20 year old house in a very spectacular position on the edge of a 300m sheer cliff facing out to the west over the sea on the World Heritage coastline on the north coast of Mallorca.