Son Vida, Mallorca

The house by the Forest responds to the environment with a selective approach. Deliberatively, it turns its back on the housing development where is located, on the neighboring golf course, on the wrong orientation towards the sun, on the public façade and on the appearances. The project takes advantage of the proximity of the forest turning towards it looking for intimacy, views to the mountain and the best orientation towards the sun. This is the main attitude of the project and the one that underlies behind the program organization, the arrangement of the volumes, the selection of materials, the landscape approach and the energy efficiency strategy.

Two much differentiated types of spaces are proposed. On one hand, orthogonal and compact boxes with thick well-insulated walls provide a continuous and efficient thermal envelope and inertia in addition to privacy and intimacy. These boxes house the most private rooms and are strategically placed within the plot optimizing the relation between the rooms according to a relationship-efficiency diagram and looking for the best views and sun orientation.

On the other hand, glazed galleries connect the boxes creating a continuous sequence of dynamic and irregular spaces. These spaces accommodate, in addition to corridors, gathering and meeting rooms that become open, flexible and establishing a direct relationship with the exterior. A light concrete roof covers the galleries. Thanks to a triangulated origami-like geometry and a series of walls that are part of the same structure and geometry, large spans and a column-free plan is possible. The outside of the triangulated structure (roof and walls) is covered with a low-maintenance vegetation layer that increases the thermal inertia and protects the roof. Solar panels substitute the vegetation layer in the triangles that are facing south and have more inclination.

A 55 meter long water pool –mostly being 20cm deep and turning into two swimming pools at both ends- runs in between the boxes and underneath the galleries connecting all areas of the house and working as a bioclimatic heart of the residence. The glazed galleries next to the water open completely allowing for the evaporation of the water to mildly lower the interior temperature in the summer. The water also provides additional insolation to the cavities and conducts built underneath the water pool that, in combination with a geothermal system, uses the constant temperature under the earth to canalize it to the underfloor heating and cooling of the house reducing until 80% the expense of heating and cooling.

Competition team: Paloma Hernaiz, Jaime Oliver, Rebeca Lavín, Darío Arévalo, Marta Diego, James Hull
Project team: Paloma Hernaiz, Jaime Oliver, Rebeca Lavín, Walter Brandt, James Hull, Cesare Albergoni, Juan Manuel Aragonés


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