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An energy-efficient villa

An energy-efficient villa


Built on a gently sloping street in Mallorca, Spain, this 402 m2 home blends seamlessly into the tranquil neighborhood, with a design that celebrates local architecture. Bratislava-based studio BEEF Architekti drew inspiration from the island’s traditional houses to design this contemporary seaside retreat. The team uses natural materials and traditional techniques.

Slovak architecture studio BEEF Architekti travels to the Spanish island of Mallorca, to create a residence that pays homage to the site’s magnificent natural landscapes and picturesque historic stone towns. Reflecting local traditions, the designers use age-old techniques and materials, including stones from a local quarry. The villa is both defined by its textured stone façade, which takes influence from the typical stone walls dotted across the island, built using the dry technique known as “pedra en sec” – a strategy which, in 2018, was declared an “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity” by Unesco. The team designed the façade with both aesthetic and passive performance in mind. With its massive openings, it helps to keep the house cool during the summer months, while taking advantage of the sun to retain its warmth in winter. The architecture is inspired by local climatic conditions and incorporates passive strategies for natural shading and ventilation. Windows are set back from the façade, where only concrete slabs protect interiors from the sun’s rays. At the same time, folding wooden shutters serve as a secondary heat-prevention system. These elements are designed to make reference to Mallorca’s widespread facades. Narrow vertical slats create a rhythmic play of shadows in the interior. The interstitial spaces between the slats allow air to circulate, even when the shutters are closed, ensuring an airy atmosphere. The structure is in harmony with local architecture, notably through the use of traditional materials, techniques and empirical principles. The stone facade continues fluidly inside to complement the “estuco de cal” lime plaster. In the interior, the architects opted for neutral finishes – mainly wood, stone and concrete – to celebrate and highlight the customized furnishings. Each material has a specific role in the design. Wooden slats along the staircase create a vertical axis or “skeleton” for the home. Ultimately, this home guarantees its residents extraordinary moments.

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