- Sant Mateu, Ibiza, Spain
- Marià Castelló
- Marià Castelló Martínez
Ibiza conjures images of sparkling turquoise water, shining white yachts, and clusters of buildings nestled in the cliffside. It also brings to mind crowds of people on the beaches and streets and the continuous beats of party music. One does not necessarily picture small and quiet dwellings when thinking of Ibiza, but Ca l'Amo, designed by Spanish architect Marià Castelló, is just that. Further inland, away from the crowded waterfront, sits a contemporary dwelling that is a quintessential example of a structure integrated into the landscape.
The countryside of Ibiza, where Ca l'Amo is located, is quite a different landscape from the popular beaches. The home sits on the San Mateo plain, where the landscape has been smoothed by years of farming activities. Today, the area is mainly wooded, covered with native shrubs and pine trees.
Ca l'Amo is situated in a way where it barely disturbs the scenery. From above, it looks as if it has just been dropped into a natural clearing. The architects could take advantage of terraces, previously used for agricultural activities, to situate the building easily on the site. The unique site conditions also allow Ca l'Amo to barely disrupt its natural environment. The woods engulf the home and the dwelling fully takes advantage of its proximity to the scenic landscape. The structure is, therefore, long and narrow, but not all is interior space.
The home is comprised of two large columns connected by a series of terraces. One volume contains the main house: an ample family space for living and gathering. The other is a guest house. A long and narrow pool sits between these two houses. The pool is a natural centrepiece of the design, partly due to its location and partly due to the eye-cathing blue water, especially attractive among the browns and greens of the surroundings.
The form of Ca l'Amo is pleasantly simple and makes for a very efficient home. The long volume easily houses enough space for a large family and their guests. In addition, the outdoor space more than doubles the interior area. In a subtle yet significant move, the roof structure extends beyond the home's walls, creating a covered outdoor area. Protection from the sun and elements allow this outdoor space to feel full integrated with the interior. One can imagine how entertaining and family life easily flows inside and out. Ca l'Amo is not the home one expects to find on Ibiza, but it is so integrated with the countryside environment that it is nearly impossible to picture it anywhere else.