Award Winning House in a Mallorcan Fig Orchard

Harris Architects & Designers awarded Mallorca Prize for Contemporary Architecture 2007-2010 amongst international star architects The House in a Mallorcan fig orchard, designed by Harris Architects & Designers has been awarded the Mallorca Prize for Contemporary Architecture 2007-2010. The award, given by the Balearic College of Architects, is one of the most important and prestigious Spanish prizes for new architecture, is awarded to built works completed on the island within the previous four years. Other competitors included projects by Alvaro Siza and Juan Herreros. The House in a Fig Orchard was unanimously selected by a national jury praising the project's spatial ingenuity and relationship to nature. Full description: The house maintains a careful balance between modern means of living and the historical context and rural character of the site - an old organic fig orchard alongside the site of an ancient arab town. The open-plan interior at first floor level is subtly divided by angled screens and pivoting wall panels. This differentiates the domestic uses of the house whilst allowing internal views of over 40m and of the surrounding landscape in all directions, with its characteristic windmills. The traditional rural typology of the area is reinterpreted creating a sophisticated living space at fig-tree level raised above an open undercroft - forming a plinth of widely seperated earth textured fin-walls. This provides both the necesary seperation of home from wildlife (and occasional flood-waters), whilst maintaining open views and free-flowing external space at field level. The project also combines ancient and modern strategies for climate control and power generation, resulting in a self-sufficient modern home, profoundly connected to the context of local architecture. A cinematic sequence of panoramic views through the spaces to the surrounding landscape is coupled with changes of materials and subtle adjustment of proportions to characterise different spaces and uses throughout the house. The rhythm of floor to ceiling windows which slide disappearing within the external walls punctuates the east south and west facades capturing maximum sunlight and solar warmth during winter months, while avoiding overheating in summer through shading and cross ventilation, creating a sense of spaciousness and continuity to external terraces and the fig orchard beyond. Site-specific furniture and finishes have been designed to emphasise the transparency of the space whilst articulating the different areas of the home. Harris Architects & Designers: The Award Anouncement (Consejo Superior de los Colegios de Arquitectos de EspaƱa):


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