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Can Santacilia, Palma de Mallorca, Spain by OHLAB / Oliver Hernaiz Architecture Lab

Project name:
Can Santacilia
Architecture firm:
OHLAB / Oliver Hernaiz Architecture Lab
Palma de Mallorca, Spain
José Hevia
Principal architect:
Paloma Hernaiz, Jaime Oliver
Design team:
Paloma Hernaiz, Jaime Oliver, Rebeca Lavín, Robin Harloff, Maria Bruna Pisciotta, Mercé Solar, Luis Quiles, Silvia Morais, Ángela Suárez, Wiktoria Ginter, Camila Ospina, Pedro Rodríguez, Laura Colomer, Eusebiu Spac, Agustín Verdejo
Built area:
3300 m²
Site area:
Design year:
Completion year:
Interior design:
Project Manager: Rafael Del Toro, Facilities and structure project: AMM; Technical Group Facilities: I3 SETI; Kitchens: Espacio Home Design; Furniture: Decágono; Branding: Studio Roses; Restoration of coffered ceilings 1: Mitra Restaura SL; Restoration of coffered ceilings 2: Ana Rus; Flooring and carpentry: Socias y Rosselló; Interior carpentry 1: Carpintería Cañelles; Interior carpentry 2: Bricolópez; Elevators: Kone.
Civil engineer:
Structural engineer:
Jorge Ramón
Environmental & MEP:
Diazgar Obras, S.L.U.
Tools used:
Stone: Calizas Capellà
Viviendes Santacília SL
Residential › Apartments

OHLAB: This 3,300-square-meter residential development contains fifteen units. The project started with an analysis of the modifications carried out over time in two buildings located in the heart of the old town of Palma de Mallorca and registered in the city’s archives in 1576 under the name of Can Santacilla. The objective was to get the best out of the main architectural elements of different periods.

The first challenge was that of historical responsibility, which begun with the investigation of the different interventions over time to discover, recover and give value to the main architectural elements and spaces. We didn’t try to erase and hide the alterations occurred throughout the history in order to recover an ideal past that we don’t really know, instead we tried to discover different stages and interventions, recognizing elements of value in each of them.

In order to make this operation efficient and reintegrate the building into the city’s activity, we decided to update their spaces and use for the 21st century.

The complexity of the listed buildings, with their 17th-century facade, was harnessed to generate homes with individualized layouts and solutions. The project was unique in the way it sought to highlight the site’s historical essence, combined with a commitment to update the complex in accordance with a contemporary lifestyle. Despite the restrictions on working on listed buildings, the design aimed to maximize energy efficiency. The materials used are natural, high-quality, and locally sourced, emphasizing the building’s history and Mediterranean essence.

By Liliana Alvarez

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