Icon - Arrow LeftAn icon we use to indicate a rightwards action. Icon - Arrow RightAn icon we use to indicate a leftwards action. Icon - External LinkAn icon we use to indicate a button link is external. Icon - MessageThe icon we use to represent an email action. Icon - Down ChevronUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - CloseUsed to indicate a close action. Icon - Dropdown ArrowUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - Location PinUsed to showcase a location on a map. Icon - Zoom OutUsed to indicate a zoom out action on a map. Icon - Zoom InUsed to indicate a zoom in action on a map. Icon - SearchUsed to indicate a search action. Icon - EmailUsed to indicate an emai action. Icon - FacebookFacebooks brand mark for use in social sharing icons. flipboard Icon - InstagramInstagrams brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - PinterestPinterests brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - TwitterTwitters brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - Check MarkA check mark for checkbox buttons.
You are reading

An Architect’s Indoor-Outdoor Dreamscape in Mallorca, Spain

Search

An Architect’s Indoor-Outdoor Dreamscape in Mallorca, Spain

July 8, 2021

In 1972, Danish architect Jørn Utzon (best known as the architect of the extravagant Sydney Opera House in Australia) decided to build his family a summer home on a low cliff near Porto Petro in the southernmost part of Mallorca, Spain. His own home could not be more different in scale and style from his public commissions. Join us for a tour of  “Can Lis,” named after Utzon’s wife, Lis.

Photography by Torben Eskerod, courtesy of The Utzon Foundation.

As was the holistic intention of Utzon, the house appears to have cropped up out of the surrounding rock.
Above: As was the holistic intention of Utzon, the house appears to have cropped up out of the surrounding rock.
The house is a modernist construction of four buildings with overhanging loggias and courtyards connecting the bedrooms, kitchen, study, and sitting rooms.
Above: The house is a modernist construction of four buildings with overhanging loggias and courtyards connecting the bedrooms, kitchen, study, and sitting rooms.
Vaulted bovedilla ceilings (concrete blocks) are supported by armored concrete beams on the terrace.
Above: Vaulted bovedilla ceilings (concrete blocks) are supported by armored concrete beams on the terrace.
The layout creates a seamless spatial transition from indoors to out.
Above: The layout creates a seamless spatial transition from indoors to out.
Because Can Lis is a stone’s throw from the sea and thus privy to hard weather conditions, Utzon chose local, sustainable materials for practical purposes.
Above: Because Can Lis is a stone’s throw from the sea and thus privy to hard weather conditions, Utzon chose local, sustainable materials for practical purposes.
The outer pillars and supporting walls are traditional Mallorcan marès, a local porous sandstone, with denser Santanyí sandstone used for interior walls and floors throughout.
Above: The outer pillars and supporting walls are traditional Mallorcan marès, a local porous sandstone, with denser Santanyí sandstone used for interior walls and floors throughout.
Much of the furniture is made of concrete, carved stone, and traditional Spanish tile.
Above: Much of the furniture is made of concrete, carved stone, and traditional Spanish tile.
A concrete bench rises from the floor, topped with glazed terra cotta tiles.
Above: A concrete bench rises from the floor, topped with glazed terra cotta tiles.
The same terra cotta tiles make up a bench and outdoor dining table.
Above: The same terra cotta tiles make up a bench and outdoor dining table.
A concrete kitchen of open shelving, tiled under-the-counter shelves, and spare kitchenware.
Above: A concrete kitchen of open shelving, tiled under-the-counter shelves, and spare kitchenware.
A modernist dining room with built-in wood banquettes.
Above: A modernist dining room with built-in wood banquettes.
The bare bones bath features almost invisible shower fixtures and integrated stone shelving.
Above: The bare bones bath features almost invisible shower fixtures and integrated stone shelving.
Lofty single-paned glass windows create a sense of transparency.
Above: Lofty single-paned glass windows create a sense of transparency.
The monumental spaces create a mise-en-scène framing the sea, trees, and sky.
Above: The monumental spaces create a mise-en-scène framing the sea, trees, and sky.

N.B.: This post is an update; it was first published May 2017.

See Danica’s own home in An Artful Casita from a New Yorker in Mallorca, Spain. And for more inspiration from Spain, see:

Have a Question or Comment About This Post?

Join the conversation

v5.0