High up in the Tramuntana Mountains of Mallorca with views overlooking the Mediterranean Sea we have built two small off-grid houses. The houses are surrounded in all directions by thousand year old olive trees standing on man-made terraces of dry stacked stone, where only the wind and the bells of the grassing sheep can be heard. The incredible scenic mountain area is one of the most beautiful examples we have on earth of how well wild and human-made nature can intertwine seamlessly, a rare example where Man has given more beauty – than he has taken away from nature – which brought it into the Unesco World Heritage list.
The houses blends into its surroundings as seamlessly and sensitive as possible into this magical setting by first breaking the needed footprint into two, while also reusing an old stone structure for the The Purple House a house for cooking and dinning, covered in a specific shade of purple stucco; the complimentary color to the dark side of the olive leaf. The reusing of the existing structure meant that only one new structure was needed which was even build into the existing terraces making the structure practically invisible being half underground, which keeps the house cool in the summer and warmer in winter.
In one end of the new structure a vaulted ceiling dissolves seamlessly into a huge skylight under which a hidden shower is found next to an existing rock formation, which the house has embraced. Water for the shower is provided from a natural spring behind the house. A specific shade of pink, the complimentary shade of the matte lighter side of an olive leaf, was chosen to cover both walls, floors and ceilings, reminiscent of mans first home, the cave. The complementary colors of the olive trees provides an optic effect when looking into the landscape which becomes vivid, more defined and crisp.
The two houses contains only the most necessary; a bed, a shower and a fireplace, while The Purple House is equipped with a bathroom, two gas burners, sink, wood fired oven, table and stools and a fridge powered by solar panels behind the house. The Olive Houses are owned by mar plus ask and are offered as a silent refuge for other architects, artists and writers around the year.