High up in the Tramuntana Mountains of Mallorca, Spain with views overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, Mar Plus Ask architects have created two small off-grid houses. The houses are surrounded in all directions by thousand year old olive trees (yes I said thousand) standing on man-made terraces of dry stacked stone, where only the wind and the bells of the grazing sheep can be heard.
The incredible scenic mountain area is one of the most beautiful examples of how wild and man-made nature can intertwine seamlessly, a rare example where mankind has given equal amounts of beauty – than he has taken away from nature – which brought it into the Unesco World Heritage list.
The houses blend into its surroundings as seamlessly and sensitive as possible into this magical setting by first breaking the footprint into two, while also reusing an old stone structure for the The Purple House which is a house for cooking and dinning, covered in a specific shade of purple stucco; the complimentary colour to the dark side of the olive leaf. The reusing of the existing structure meant that only one new structure was needed which was built into the existing terraces making the structure practically invisible.
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 colours of the olive trees provides an optic effect when looking into the landscape which becomes vivid, more defined and crisp.
The two houses contains the basics; 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.