new countryhouse (finca) felanitx, majorca
A private property – finca – with a breathtakingly wide all-round view over the whole island in the southeast of majorca, countless lines of sight, whether from, over or through the residential building, to the pristine landscapes around felanitx, porreres, cas concos, son negre, campos and llucmajor.
An unmistakable new building of a country house was built on the 2 hectare property. the architectural approach is a contemporary interpretation of the traditional finca architecture of the area around felanitx and campos. the basis for this is provided by the locally typological, simple, rectangular floor plan of the farmhouses in the region around felanitx.
in accordance with the strict building regulations of the felanitx (rústico) building regulations and the floor and space planning of the ptm advertisement (plan territorial de mallorca), a conservatively designed finca with elements typical of the country is being built here, deliberately in consensus from the outside. the natural stone facade made of marés and the large-area sliding shading elements, made from the characteristic persianas mallorquinas, form the desired and required type of local fincas.
Here, too, the focus was on creating a resource-saving, value-adding and sustainably designed property that combines a largely self-sufficient, air-conditioning and building construction concept. In this way, the architecture is given the role of economic and ecological aspects in defining the design concept.
the room program includes a loft-like, open living area with adjoining dining area, inside outside, on off kitchen area, several bedrooms with bathroom en suite, master area with spa bath, and a “multiuso” area for office, games, cinema and fitness. several storage and technical rooms and finally a garage for cars, a pool and more. all outside and inside areas are designed to be functionally overlapping and efficient.
From an agricultural point of view, the plot is useless ground, as the property consists almost entirely of washed-out and weathered limestone rock slabs. or loosened, rocky structure with isolated layers of vegetation, from which the ullastres (wild olive trees) native to this area actually grow over the whole area. littered with small to medium-sized rocks, the property was left fallow, with surrounding properties being cultivated.
the autochthonous planting is only broken up by a wide band, a grazed cut, running diagonally across the property. footprint-foodprint. Here the previous owner drove the flocks of sheep across the country, which tore off everything that grew out of the barren soil rich in iron ore. it was precisely this aisle that gave the idea of conceiving the finca construction in this way and thus positioning it on the terrain. There was no need to clear the bushes and trees at all. For the garage and the water storage, as well as the photovoltaic system, unnecessary clearing could be dispensed with.
the ensemble of structures thus integrates perfectly into the existing green landscape. the finca building is centrally rotated exactly north-south and positioned diagonally in this vegetation-free aisle. this also gave the genius loci for the design of the floor plan architecture of the finca.
the massive, compact and two-storey building from the outside is open in its middle across all storeys. In the center there is such a patio, which is accessible on the ground floor on both sides on the patio width of the same passage. like a gate, you can get from the north side of the aisle through the building to the south side of the aisle.
For the architecture of the building, this meant creating two porches on the ground floor at the same time, which are integrated into the building and not attached to the building as an external, covered outdoor seating area. in this way we preserve the typology of the traditional, rural “two-generation” finca and create the optimal intersection between inside and outside in order to make the best possible use of the mediterranean climate. a sequence of porche – patio – porche.
the building is accessed via the wide porche and patio. the patio forms the creative center of the design. it is the central design core of the finca. Its function lies not only in development but also in its communicative character. it is a chill out area for the whole family. A horizontal, fine steel net, which is anchored all around to the ceiling of the ground floor, allows it to be used as a 50 m2, oversized hammock.
the patio is fully glazed across all floors. The full glazing on both floors is designed as sliding elements. this is how the patio forms a pavilion architecture. the inside becomes the outside and thus traditionally also serves to illuminate and ventilate the surrounding areas.
The surrounding loft-like, open room design on the upper floor also makes it possible to see and experience the entire property from anywhere in the building. With this design, the maximum permitted by the legislature, 30% of the facade surface for glazing, can be used efficiently to create a pavilion with optimal viewing conditions.
across the completely glazed patio, diagonal lines of sight are formed across the building and across all floors. It was the express goal to realize the design in such a way that the terrain on which the finca would be built can be experienced and seen from all rooms. The patio, as the three-storey introverted outdoor area, is a multifunctional space in the center of the building from which one can also see the entire landscape.
all sleeping areas, the two children’s rooms on the ground floor and the master sleeping area on the upper floor, are consistently oriented 0 ° to the east because of the morning sun. Across the patio, the multiuso areas on the ground floor with the living and dining areas above are oriented exactly to the west, because of the evening sun. the patio serves as a buffer for both areas of use.
The media center and library are located above the south porche, formed like a bridge, and opposite the transparent patio, the entire kitchen area hangs over the north porche. the north facade of the kitchen area is largely fully glazed.
in the center of both glass facades of the kitchen area is the cooking table. this is an elevated cooking island with the base cabinets only 30cm high. This preserves the transparency and the lines of sight from the patio. The actual kitchen block is flush with the kitchen table. a raised kitchen cabinet that can be used on both sides with an integrated shelf and hatch.
This design of our kitchen, as well as of all other interior areas, underlines our concern to find a distinctive, unique language indicative of the specific project of solitary architecture. this also includes the decision in principle to consciously relocate the living, dining and kitchen areas to the first floor. the wonderful all-round view from the galatzó mountain over the randa, cap formentor, artá, sant salvador and the shimmering evening sun over the sea in front of es trenc were the deciding factors.
the minimalist, reduced interior design is a contrasting combination of the most varied of materials, which, however, are always function-related and have a pure and simple appearance. all furniture fronts and built-in cupboards are made from the same, recycled solid old wood (mostly oak).
all floors are made of seamless terrazzo with their own sprinkling and coloring. appear as a concrete floor. the iridescent glass parapets are made of special colored foil and give the finca an enormous variety of colored light reflections that permeate the entire building. the pockets of the sliding doors are designed as removable sheet metal frames, easy to maintain. all floor ceilings are visibly designed as coffered ceilings or solid concrete ceilings. the combination of hard and soft materials gives the building the character of a residential-industrial building.
Ultimately, the genuis loci of the property is also a good usable location from a landscape and climatic point of view. the orientation of the buildings towards the sun at this point leads to an efficient energy concept, whereby both the wintry and summer sun positions enable an enormously reduced energy requirement. if necessary, this can also be conditioned via the large sliding shading elements. the year-round pinch of country air is deliberately introduced into the building interior of the skeleton structure during the summer and blocked in winter.
Otherwise, the heating and cooling requirements are covered by a double heat pump combination unit, which is sustainably and resource-saving almost exclusively and highly efficiently fed by a photovoltaic system. the greatest possible reduction in any additional energy requirement was supported by the building structure, in which the wall structures were implemented using multi-layered layers of internal double plasterboard in combination with soft and hard thermal insulation, bricks and natural stone cladding.
the heat transfer coefficient is extremely low. for further savings, the property also has an intelligent building control system. the property has its own legal well.
Measures for sustainable garden architecture are still under construction on the remaining area of the aisle, where autochthonous vegetation creates a consciously sensitive approach to the natural environment. in the south-western part of the aisle, dozens of fruit trees and citrus fruits that were planted years ago are thriving.
find more under bora magazine 1/2022
project: 1323 nearly finished
size: 661 m2 (construction, pool), 18796 m2 (landscape)
construction area: 333 m2 (incl. terrace)
location: felanitx, majorca
type: new building with swimming pool
team (buildings): jle
team (landscape): jle
responsible architects: jle