Located in Costa Canyamel, a coastal neighborhood on the Spanish island of Mallorca, Can Canyis is a residence set on a steep, rocky hillside covered in wild vegetation. The 2,600-square-foot home stands out because of its whitewashed facade and striking form—four stacked, rectangular boxes set on stone platforms that have been carefully inserted into a challenging site. These "glass-enclosed boxes" form the main living spaces, each capped with floor-to-ceiling glass that frame breathtaking views of Canyamel Bay.
Designed by Spanish architectural firm Estudio Caballero Colón, the four-story home is a mixture of modern and traditional Mallorcan architecture. The project was also recently honored with a 2019 Architecture MasterPrize award.
The home is made up of two layers of concrete, rectangular boxes that cantilever out over the site and sit on top of two lower levels. However, despite its experimental form, the home also employs simple, local traditions. The material palette comprises white lime stucco coating, a local sandstone known as marés, modern renditions of traditional Spanish cement tiles, and light pine planks.
Marés, the traditional local sandstone, is popular in the region because of its low cost, and the fact that it is readily available throughout the Balearic Islands—but it is also aesthetically beautiful, adding a rustic quality to both the interiors and exteriors. A sedimentary rock, marés varies in tone, often with a light, earthy, pinkish hue. "There are five marés quarries on the island," says the firm. "It is used in popular architecture as well as traditionally in historic buildings like the Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma the Gothic cathedral of Mallorca which dates back to the 13th century."
The negative space between the stacked volumes creates a web of sight lines throughout the home and toward the water. "This space is the authentic heart of the house," says the firm. "Light floods the entire space, and you have so many visual connections to the different spaces of the house. There are so many perspectives to the surrounding landscape."
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Architects of record: Estudio Caballero Colón, Paula Caballero & Diego Colón de Carvajal
Builder/General Contractor: Rosique Construcciones & Andreu Servera Garau
Structural Engineer Company: MD 44 S.L.P.
Cabinetry Design/Installation: José Narro
M&E Engineers: Acha y Blanco S.L.
Quantity Surveyor: Fernando Liesegang Moll
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