IBIZA INSPIRED HEDONISM

...........................................................................................© Miguel de Guzmán

The House in Never-Never Land cascades down a 1300 m2 sloping plot in Ibiza’s Cala Vadella, a picturesque natural port far from the island’s major tourist attractions. It was designed by the young Madrid-based architect Andrés Jaque, once one of the young hopefuls of Spanish architecture, now a fixed point of reference on the international scene.

The design is based on three main concepts: integration with the natural surroundings, the pursuit of hedonism and financial security for the future. The architect’s primary aim was to adapt the geometry of the house to the existing vegetation and to carve out the construction in the open spaces between the trees and bushes, even to the extent of incorporating trees at certain points. To further minimize the house’s impact on the land, it is raised above ground level by means of a metal structure. In another environmentally responsible gesture, a mass of substrate mixed with water-retaining gelatine was incorporated into various sections of the facade. In time this will support a mass of vegetation and wildlife equivalent to that displaced by the construction work. Finally, in line with these eco-friendly measures, the design brought together all the equipment needed for filtration, waste treatment and water storage and housed them in a compact reinforced-concrete container located beneath the pool.

...........................................................................................© Miguel de Guzmán

The pursuit of an Ibiza-inspired hedonism is based on a combination of two strategies: on the one hand, the possibility of an interaction between the house and user, and on the other, its interaction with the true culture of Ibiza. The main house starts out from two almost identical bedrooms connected by a multipurpose living space that generates new forms of interaction between open indoor spaces and the user, who will define the actual identity of the house. At the same time, the dwelling seeks to establish a relationship between its inhabitants and the natural surroundings. The house opens up completely to its environment in a typically Mediterranean lifestyle where areas such as the terrace or the pool become hubs of activity. Elements such as the outside shower, the speaker-room (taken from the dance club tradition) the salon though as an echo box taken from the dance club tradition and the individual cabins as isolation and self reflection chambers, make essential features of Ibizan culture part of everyday life. The application of these dream-world principles to a dwelling makes ‘The House in Never-Never Land’ a highly appropriate name for this project.

In the current economic climate, with investment funds decreasing in value year by year, buying property is seen as a way of guaranteeing one’s future financial security. With this in mind, the architect designed an ensemble of three distinct elements: a main house for the client, plus two independent cabins that can be rented out. Each building meets the requirements of the holiday rental market and has separate access and facilities. The slope of the land ensures that each unit enjoys an unimpeded view of the sea and its own piece of garden. The internal layout is the same in both units: service spaces are ranged along the wall facing the slope, while the living spaces are set behind the northeast-facing glass wall and a terrace suspended above the land.

...........................................................................................© Miguel de Guzmán

The motivation behind the House in Never-Never Land is to create an environmentally responsible project that respects the beauty and biodiversity of the valley, to provide a means of financial security for the owner, and to construct a space of possibilities and desires. The House in Never-Never Land is an example of a search for dreams, a house close to the fairy-tale world of Hollywood but rooted in the Ibiza’s cultural traditions.

January 2010
Artículo publicado en la revista  A10 'New European Architecture' #30 . Más información aqui