Architectural firm Palma-based and MVRDV practices GRAS Reynés Arquitectos are developing a new strategy to revitalize Palma de Mallorca’s historic El Terreno neighborhood in Spain with vibrant and colorful structures. After three decades of decline, the firms are rebuilding El Terreno, which was home to artists and authors and famed for its nightlife until the 1990s. The Palma area will undergo redevelopment with a new mixed-use concept covering an area of 15,000 square meters, with new residential and commercial structures and common spaces.

Plans to Transform Palma de Mallorca's Cultural Neighbourhood revealed by MVRDV - Sheet1
Palma de Mallorca-El Terreno_©MVRDV+Gras Reynes

From the 1950s through the 1980s, Palma de Mallorca’s El Terreno district and Plaza Gomila were a cultural hotspot and the center of the island’s avant-garde nightlife, it was also home to many of the town’s prominent artists and authors, as well as a hotspot for nightlife, with legendary performances by musicians like as Jimi Hendrix, Ray Charles, and Tom Jones at its bohemian nightclubs. But the region has since been neglected. Several plots in Plaza Gomila will then be renovated as part of a public-private partnership to revive the bohemian district’s ambiance.

Plans to Transform Palma de Mallorca's Cultural Neighbourhood revealed by MVRDV - Sheet2
Palma de Mallorca-Life after redevelopment _©MVRDV+Gras Reynes

The team plans to repair four existing buildings and construct three new ones to transform El Terreno into a dynamic, green, sustainable residential neighborhood. The project, dubbed Project Gomila, aims to rediscover the spirit and traditions of a community with a special place in the hearts of many Mallorcans.MVRDV has announced its master plan for Amsterdam’s Gomila area, which includes 60 new rental houses in various forms and sizes. Besides the rental units, there is also extra commercial space that can be rented by residents working nearby. Each of the buildings delivers not only its personality, but also its own set of amenities, including public facilities such as restaurants and bars and amenities such as pools.

Plans to Transform Palma de Mallorca's Cultural Neighbourhood revealed by MVRDV - Sheet3
Palma de Mallorca-Structures_©MVRDV+Gras Reynes

The design includes seven distinct structures, each rendered in various colors and materials. The new structures bring 60 rental houses in a variety of designs and sizes to the area. Residential rental properties, as well as commercial space, are intended to be utilized by local workers. The various brilliant colors, accentuated by the Mediterranean sun, emphasize the neighborhood’s energy and regeneration. By combining new and used properties, we revitalize the community while keeping a link to its famous history. The first phase of the concept is well underway, with five of the intended structures under construction. Renovating the Gomila Center is also not friendly, as it repurposes the building following circularity principles, but it also serves as a reminder of the neighborhood’s past.

Palma de Mallorca-Five different buildings_@MVRDV+Gras Reynes

Five of Project Gomila’s buildings are already under development on the site. The Gomila Center, the largest structure in the ensemble, is a refurbishment of a 1979 design by architect Pere Nicolao. There are three other developments in the first phase – the blue houses with a saw-tooth roof called Las Fabri-Casas, the red townhouses known as Las Casitas, a self-sustaining apartment block built in rammed earth, and a green building called La Plaza, which converts an existing building.

Two more buildings will be added to the ensemble: the yellow Casa Virginia and a modest structure near the Gomila Center, both of which are renovations of existing buildings in the neighborhood.

MVRDV’s founding partner Winy Maas remarked that the firm wanted to build a friendly, human neighborhood where everyone felt at home 

The color palette is inspired by the sunny island of Mallorca, ranging from terracotta and earthy tones to bright blue and scarlet. Because the rooftops are carved in different ways – one stepped, one slanted, one with irregular gables – a distinct region is formed.

Project Gomila is more than a collection of structures; it is a concept that creates value to the community through a successful public-private partnership that includes a one-of-a-kind residential housing project. It resurrects the identity of the community plaza, which was a hotspot for avant-garde nightlife from the 1950s through the 1980s before degrading and losing importance. The Gomila buildings were designed following Passive Haus principles, with excellent thermal efficiency and passive temperature control elements such as shutters and cross ventilation to decrease energy consumption.


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