John Pawson is back in Minimalissimo with the dreamy, pink hued Neuendorf House on the island of Mallorca, Spain. Like much of Pawson’s work, Neuendorf House does not neatly fit in to a particular design style, nor span of time. Neuendorf House seems almost otherworldly, as if it landed in its field from another universe entirely. One’s mind tries to place it in time and space, but the sheer volume of the exterior walls, and their unapologetic pink tone, are utterly puzzling. This is not to say the structure appears out of place. Perhaps the most puzzling fact of all is that Neuendorf House feels completely grounded, as if it has been standing for centuries.
Designed in partnership with Italian architect Claudio Silvestrin—whom is also no stranger to Minimalissimo—Neuendorf House is located in an almond grove in southern Mallorca, with views of both the sea and the mountains. The home’s most striking feature—its pink concrete facade—calls to mind the tone of the clay pebbles and sands of the region. This subtle reference allows the building to feel regional while still contrasting with the bright green of the grove and the vivid blue of the sun-streaked sky.
The tall walls of the facade hide a private villa—a vacation home—complete with a large courtyard, several terraces, and a pool. The design both invites nature in and works to repel it; the tall, opaque walls reflect the harsh sun while also concealing a courtyard of lush green lawn and regional landscaping. The exterior is reminiscent of the traditional stucco homes found throughout southern Spain; composed of concrete, it lends a modern, and more minimal twist. The interior is simplified even further by white walls, light tile floors, and a scattering of wood furnishings. The feeling evoked from Neuendorf House is one of complete ease, an effortlessness that is emblematic of both Pawson’s and Silvestrin’s designs.
The minimal structure of Neuendorf House reflects Pawson’s commitment to experimenting with geometry, light, and materials. The house is uniquely structured to capture or disrupt the bright Mallorca sunlight. Cuts in the facade cast shadows to the courtyard, creating an ever-changing artwork throughout the day. Windows create a similar effect on the clean white walls of the interior. The perfectly sculpted courtyard allows the pool exposure to full sunlight, while the surrounding trees cast organic shadows on the concrete walls.
Spanish light, local almond trees, and the almost unreal pink of Neuendorf House have us slipping into the most pleasant dream. A dream of sun, warmth, art, and the wonderful world of these two architects.