Casa Palerm is an extension of a rural hotel in the countryside of Lloret de Vistalegre in the center of Mallorca. It is a new independent building, close to the original farmhouse, which functions as a small holiday home. The project follows a discreet architecture, being integrated within its surrounding environment and performing efficiently, both economically and energetically.
Architecture and Interior Design: OHLAB / Paloma Hernaiz and Jaime Oliver
OHLAB Instagram: @ohlab_architecture
OHLAB Website: www.ohlab.net
OHLAB team: Paloma Hernaiz and Jaime Oliver with Rebeca Lavín, Silvia Morais José Allona, Amalia Stavropoulou
Quantity surveyor: Jorge Ramón
Contractor: Joaquín García Rubio
Structure: Lorenzo Croce
Landscape: Salva Cañís
Kitchen and cañizo works: OHLAB design, Creacuina
Furniture: La Pecera
Photos: José Hevia
The program is resolved in one level with a compact and elongated volume with pitched roof. The width is kept to six meters in order to use low-cost beams and structure with no columns; this also allows for cross ventilation and natural lighting. The layout, parallel to the slope of the terrain, allows all rooms to enjoy views of the countryside and Tramuntana mountains towards the north and take advantage of south sun; thermoregulation is also favored by this arrangement.
The volume is punctuated by an imaginary box creating a central void, the living room. On the floor, a concrete tongue creates terraces on each side of the living space and expands it toward the landscape. On the ceiling, a wattle pergola crosses the hollow space and expands on both sides. In this way, the terraces are protected from the summer sun and the wattle filters light into a Mediterranean play of shadows. The windows can be completely hidden in walls of the façade so that the living room becomes an external porch that invades terraces according to season.
For the south terrace, a wide bench made of local stone (mares) is placed, from where one can view the framed landscape through the big opening of the house that has a panoramic format with a cinematographic proportion (2.66:1). This ratio of old Cinemascope evokes personal imagery that bring us back to old movie theatres. Thus, from the south terrace we can watch the living room as the stage of everyday life – with both fields and Tramuntana mountains panoramically cropped as a backdrop. Towards north, the terrace works as a podium (above rain water tank) to contemplate views and pool.
The house achieves a balance between thermal comfort and energy efficiency through its design. The south-facing living area is sheltered from the sun by a pergola, while Mallorcan shutters keep out the heat in summer. Rainwater is collected in a storage tank and reused throughout the house, including for flushing toilets and filling the pool. Traditional construction details are used alongside local materials such as limestone plaster, ceramic roof tiles, hydraulic tiles and “mares” stone flooring.