The island of Mallorca has seen its fair share of what we call invasive luxury architecture but there are also many beautiful exceptions that reference local materials and techniques and incorporate them into a modernist, minimalist whole.
Casa Fly is a perfect example of this, designed in 2017 and completed in 2020 by Bratislava, Slovakia-based Beef Architekti. It is a large (402 square metres, 4,628 sq.ft) two-level private residence that takes full advantage of the locally quarried stone and the famous ‘Pedra en sec’ or drystone technique.
Drystone walls are visible throughout Mallorca and they are such an important characteristic, especially in the villages in the Serra de Tramuntana mountains, that the technique was declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in November 2018.
The stonework façade is a key characteristic of Casa Fly where the stone’s hue creates a feeling of warmth and timelessness. The stone evokes a sense of classic beauty and understated glamour within the modernist clarity of the new house. The massive stone façade also functions as a cooling device in the hot months and a heat-retaining element in the colder winter weather.
Heat is also regulated by way of recessed windows where the protruding concrete slabs provide shade. Folding wooden shutters are another traditional local heat prevention device. In Casa Fly the folding shutters take on a visual function as well as they soften and break up the façade and create an elegant play of light and shadow inside.
Slatted wood, local stone, concrete and glass dominate the material palette both inside and out and give a balance backdrop for the infinity pool and poolside furnishings outdoors, and the custom furniture and the owners’ art collection inside.
The location of the house is also ideal as the ground floor allows the infinity pool to visually link with the views of the sea and the upper floor windows overlook the city that can be glimpsed in the distance through the tops of the pine trees.
Beef Architekti was founded in 2004 in Bratislava by architects Radoslav Buzinkay and Andrej Ferenčík. Today the Beef team includes 12 members.
In addition to Buzinkay and Ferenčík, Beef architects Jakub Viskupič and Ján Šimko also participated in the Casa Fly project completed in cooperation with 3de3arquitectes located in Palma, the capital of Mallorca.
Mallorca or Majorca is one of the four main Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. All four — Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera – are part of Spain and popular tourist destinations. Mallorca’s history dates back to prehistoric times with traces of habitation reaching to the Neolithic period (6000-4000 BC). Tuija Seipell
Images by Tomeu Canyellas