Palma de Mallorca

Located on the outskirts of Palma de Mallorca, Casa Xaloc is located on a very steep plot of southeast orientation, overlooking the bay of Palma. These conditions are decisive for the conception of the project.

Casa Xaloc constitutes a contemporary re-reading of the Mediterranean vernacular architecture. A response to the topography, natural environment and panoramic views. Through the redefinition of traditional construction systems, such as the Catalan vault or the Majorcan “escars” (daring to bring the sea to the mountain), a semi-underground house is generated adapting itself to a high slope orography, seeking the best orientation to achieve the maximum energy efficiency.

The vaulted geometry of the “escars” takes over the house, creating spaces by means of the juxtaposition of vaults that penetrate in the terrain and are interrupted to form patios. It’s an energetically efficient architecture benefitting from the thermal inertia of the ground and the crossed ventilation that the east-west oriented openings allow.  Due to the house orientation, the windows are recessed to block the sun in summer while letting it in in winter. At the same time a series of skylights appear camouflaged on the terrain ensuring south facing light all along the year.

Landscape and architecture depend on and nurture one another, so that it is difficult to difference one from the other. The vegetation takes over the facades and the roofs and enters the house through patios. In the same way, the interior spaces emerge from the terrain blurring the boundaries of the inside/outside. The house faces south-east while it turns its back to the hillside it blends with, adopting a wild, Mediterranean and native vegetation.

Client: SOY real estate
OHLAB team: Paloma Hernaiz, Jaime Oliver with with Rebeca Lavín, Robin Harloff, Lara Ortega, Bruna Pisciotta, Silvia Morais, Laura Colomer, Mercé Solar, Eusebiu Spac, Samuel Pickering, Inma Carroquino.
Finalists WAF awards 2019