By “architectural design” we mean the potential to transform and improve our surroundings through intelligent, creative, sensitive and environmentally conscious design; discovering the underlying potential of a site or building as the basis for new design, transforming it with the minimum of means. As such, we believe that good architecture can occur whatever the scale or budget.
We believe we can contribute to improving Mallorca’s built environment by tackling projects in a responsible, optimistic and creative way.
We would like to think of ourselves as reliable, efficient and responsible. We strive to communicate in an open and honest way, bridging languages and expectations across cultures from a position of professional experience.
From designing the seminal tower penthouses at the The Barbican in London with Chamberlain Powell and Bond, to Restaurants for Forte, Anthony and Kate Harris have worked on a wide variety of public and private projects in the UK from education to health. Since the Barbican they have focused on creating homes, from award-winning innovative social housing to significant private houses.
The practice specialises in contemporary residential design. Sebastian has developed his research in Mediterranean architecture and housing, completing his doctorate at Barcelona School of Architecture in 2016. This ongoing research is applied to both our current design and teaching in Barcelona at La Salle school of Architecture, The Instituto Europeo de Diseño and ESADE Business school.
At the same time, we have also worked extensively on historic and protected buildings. Having specialised in architectural history at the Courtauld Institute, Anthony became advisor to English Heritage and the Arts Council of Great Britain, working on listed buildings for the National Trust as well as other public and private clients.
The practice moved to Mallorca in 2000. Building our own house, required overcoming the challenges of a new and different culture, languages, regulations and customs. We managed to build a home both fitting to the site and spatially innovative, incorporating the demands of modern life with the sense of place. From this experience, we became convinced of the potential and the need to combine the criteria of modern design with the character of Mallorcan architecture: to create contemporary spaces in harmony with the sense of place. This building was awarded the Mallorca Architecture Prize by the Balearic Chapter of Architects.
Since then we have gone on to expand on this fundamental personal experience, designing new houses and reforming old buildings across the island. Our designs continue to adapt to each site and client, but always strive to attain the best transformation with the minimum of means.
We specialise in residential projects, and although our private clients are highly varied, they tend to share some important things in common:
You believe your property has the potential to become something remarkable, and you want to make the most of it, transforming it into something more that the obvious standard answer. We are known for going to the utmost lengths to uncover what this potential is and finding the best way to make the most of it.
At the same time, you are looking for open-minded help to build up an original and unique design answering your individual needs, both present and future.
You realise that building in Mallorca is different from elsewhere and are looking for clear advice about how the planning and building process really works, explained in simple terms and native English.
You’re prepared to provide the necessary resources and need to find out how to best allocate your available budget. You’re after the right guidance to reach a feasible design and to get the project built successfully.
Finally, whatever project you undertake, it must add value. You understand that good design makes economic sense, but more importantly, a well designed home improves the quality of life for all those who live there, bringing out the best of a place and creating an optimal environment for one’s daily life. In short, you believe that good design adds value, just like us.
To create a home our clients need to know what design to build/best answers their needs, where to build it and how to achieve it navegating the challenges of planning and contstruction.
Those renewing an old building need to identify how to transform it to achieve their new needs and how to best allocate their available budget. Those with new schemes need to find how to maximise the potential of a site while avoiding its down-sides and find the best route to complete the project successfully.
Through our cross-culture experience, first-hand knowledge and in-depth research, HAD provides the most collaborative/insightful design and clearest advice for schemes on Mallorca. We aim to protect and improve the built environment of Mallorca through intelligent and sensitive design on all scales and budgets.
We help clients looking to achieve a beautiful home which connects to its setting without just copying cliched examples, be they traditional or modern. They look for an original and unique answer to their own needs while seeking to transform their property into the most it has to offer.
At the same time we help those, be they individuals or businesses, who are aware of the challenges of building in Mallorca (through intelligence or experience) and want help from experts trained and experienced in both local and foreign cultures.
“Thankyou both once again for delivering a house that is a joy to live in and maximises the stunning views!”
Design director, leading PLC.
Arts Council Great Britain
Chamber of technical architects (COAAT)
ETSAB – Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya
Private clients from Spain, UK, Europe and America
We believe that good design is an open-minded and thoughtful process which requires individual solutions to specific challenges. The intense efforts involved at the design stage are rewarded time and time again later in the process of making a building, and have lasting impact on the function and enjoyment of the home.
Therefore our projects are not defined by any single style – we view each project as a carefully crafted design finely attuned to the unique conditions of place, function and most importantly, the people who will live there.
We consider sustainability to be inherent to architectural design, affecting every design decision at every stage of the project. Therefore we incorporate sustainable criteria into our design work from the outset combining passive measures such as orientation, shading, ventilation with active technologies for generating energy or reducing consumption. Furthermore, wherever possible we use local materials and local workmanship.
Our work centres around 4 main ideas:
Light and views
open, flexible, sun-lit spaces connecting intelligently between interior and exterior;
Space, function and modern life
imaginative and functional spatial organisation to fit the needs and aspirations of contemporary life, whether rethinking old buildings or creating new projects;
Time and place
whether designing within traditional surroundings or creating a contemporary house from scratch, we aim to work creatively with context and place, making site specific buildings which are rooted within their context and avoid passing fashions.
Sustainability and the economy of means
We always think of the future, designing flexible spaces which can be transformed with minimal effort for future needs. Sustainability is inherent to the way we build, starting from fundamental considerations such as orientation, shading, natural ventilation and appropriate local materials, to incorporating new technologies, and working with local specialists and craftsman.
We have recently appeared on Channel 4’s ‘Homes by the Med’ and the studio’s work has been exhibited in the Palma Night of Art, and received international interest through national and foreign press coverage.
Harris Architects specialises in designing contemporary houses and converting historic buildings. Registered and qualified in Spain and the UK, the studio has been practicing for 40 years and has been awarded the Mallorca Architecture Prize by the Balearic Chapter of Architects COAIB.
Our projects are not defined by a single style – we view each project as an individual solution finely attuned to the unique conditions of place, site and most importantly, the people who will live there.
Our work centres around 5 main ideas:
1 – space and light characterise all of our schemes together with an intelligent relationship between interior and exterior.
2 – we treat the existing with creative respect. Whether actual buildings, the site, surroundings or context, we believe the existing can provide insights for new design which are deeply rooted in the place, and can spark new solutions to answer new situations.
3 – our spaces are framed around modern ways of life, in both new and reformation projects we aim to transform the layouts of the past into new spatial configurations fitting the new paths of 21st century life. Our ideas are based on considerable research into the evolution of domestic space in Mediterranean houses across the last 3000 years.
4 – sustainability is integral to our design, we aim to reduce environmental impact whilst enhancing comfort through carefully designing the fundamental elements of the home. Renewable energies are a final compliment to a far deeper design strategy.
5 – broad use and flexibility in a wider sense. We design spaces which can be rearranged simply, allowing the inhabitants the freedom to organise and reorganise their homes as they choose, but also enabling them to be restructured to provide a total change of layout and use with the minimum of means.
In Mallorca we assist clients in researching and designing evocative contemporary homes, firmly rooted in the local context. We are determined to improve the built environment, through designing exciting, practical buildings which integrate sustainability and place.
Based in Mallorca since 2000, Harris Architects & Designers was originally founded in the UK by Tony & Kate Harris. The fundamental role of space, light and context forms a connecting thread throughout the 40 years of the practice’s history in Spain and the UK.