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elmyr-1973-cutElmyr De Hory. The Master of Forgery

Elmyr De Hory. The Master of Forgery

Elmyr de Hory is considered by many to be the most talented and successful art forger in the world. Striving for a career as an artist, with some misfortune, he realized along the way that he had an exceptional gift for imitating the styles of the great modernist masters. However, these forgeries, which passed unnoticed for decades by many art experts, were just one more branch of a mysterious existence steeped in deception.

Early life.

After contrasting the information with research and testimonies, today it is known that Elmyr was born in 1906, as Elemér Hoffmann in Budapest, Hungary. He began his formal art training at theNagybánya Artist’s Colonyat the age of 16, and continued at the Akademie Heinmann art school in Munich. In 1926 he moved to Paris and enrolled at the Académie la Grande Chaumière, where he studied with Fernand Léger.

As for his family, Elmyr always said that his father was a Catholic christian and a diplomat, belonging to the aristocracy; but the Budapest registry list him as a Jewish handicraft merchant. He also said that the Nazis murdered his family, but according to the testimony of Mark Forgy, his personal assistant-apprentice for more than a decade in Ibiza, Elmyr was visited several times by an alleged cousin of his, who in the end turned out to be his brother. The fact that he was persecuted by Nazism, being Jewish and homosexual, was possibly the catalyst for creating false identities, and perhaps finds its origin in the need to take care of his image and obscure his trail to save his life. In any case, what is supposed to be known about his identity may still be open to another “plot twist” in the future.

Elmyr De Hory tended to create his alter ego of an aristocratic origin, who had been through recent episodes of misfortune and felt compelled to sell his possessions to finance his high standard of living. According to Elmyr, the portrait he owned of him and his brother was made by the famous Hungarian portraitist Philip de László. However, when in 2010 Mark Forgy, as the sole heir to all of Elmyr’s paintings, exhibited this same portrait the De László Trust declared that the work was certainly not painted by the esteemed portraitist, but simply another of Elmyr’s forgeries. The fact that De Hory forged a double childhood portrait of himself and his brother in sailor suits (a brother who, according to him, was no longer alive …), signed on behalf of an artist who at that time only portrayed the elite of the European plutocracy, seemed be a link to validate all the lies about his origin.

By the time the young Elemér finished his art studies in 1928, his style of figurative painting became obsolete as new avant-garde trends emerged such as Fauvism, Expressionism and Cubism. This harsh reality and the economic shockwaves of the Great Depression clouded any prospect that he could make a living from his art.

Elemér Hoffmann, 1937

Police files in Geneva, Switzerland, indicate misdemeanor charges and arrests between the late 1920s and the 1930s. During this period, he was convicted ten times in five European cities for crimes including check fraud, document forgery and false claim to an aristocratic title. This indicates that his skill at artifice had its origin in financial fraud, probably driven by an inability to live within his lifestyle of high means.

At the outbreak of World War II, de Hory returned to Hungary. He soon ended up in a Transylvanian prison in the Carpathians for political dissidents; due to having been involved with a British journalist and suspected spy. Although he was later released during the war, only a year later, it is assumed that he ended up in a German concentration camp for being Jewish and homosexual. However, this story has never been confirmed. Edith Tenner, the widow of Elmyr’s maternal cousin and his only surviving relative, suggested that the forger may have spent the war in Spain. Other close sources say that he escaped from the hospital of a German prison and then later emigrated to Hungary.

The bon vivant forger.

Arriving in Paris after the war, once again De Hory had initially little success in making a living from his art. Instead, he realized his astonishing talent for copying styles from prominent painters. His career is supposed to have started when he managed to sell a pen and ink drawing to a British woman as an original Picasso. Having lived through repeated unsuccessful attempts to ignite his own career, Elmyr focused on his talent for imitation, selling his replicas to renowned galleries in Paris pretending to be the displaced Hungarian aristocrat selling his family’s art collection.

Elmyr l’aristocrate

For a time, he focused on counterfeiting works on paper, as the correct paper was easier to obtain and these works could go unnoticed more easily since many of the artists he forged, such as Picasso and Matisse, were still alive and they could realize a new painting on canvas. This “flying under the radar” technique of doing only minor works even led him to produce fake lithographs.

De Hory avoided using any type of pigment on paper until 1949, when he began adding gouache and watercolor to his ink drawings; solving the added complication of color with bulb-assisted drying and aging the paper with some tea brushing.

When producing works on canvas, Elmyr used to buy 19th century works at flea markets and scrape them, aware of how forensic examinations of the mediums were produced. To artificially age the works, he used two widely available commercial varnishes: Vernis à craqueleur, a varnish that produced rapid cracking, and Vernis à vieillir, which imparts a tinge of golden aging.

In 1947 Elmyr moved to New York. Later that year, he was able to find a correct stretcher on a vintage canvas, tested his first Modigliani painting, and baked it in the oven to dry the oil paint. Even so, the oil took two months to dry, but the resulting one was easily sold to the Niveau Gallery in New York. Soon after, he would expand his repertoire of forgeries to include works by Matisse and Renoir as well, but throughout his career he concentrated largely on Modigliani – since he was an artist with a very short life, his works rare and object of desire by many. From that point, Elmyr began to create an illusory world around himself that gave his art and himself the appearance of authenticity. This brought him friends, clients, and acceptance. To avoid suspicion, he had started signing the works under many pseudonyms: Joseph Dory, Joseph Dory-Boutin, Louis Cassou, Elmyr Herzog, Elmyr Hoffman, and E. Raynal are some of them.

Elmyr De Hory in studio, 1961

In 1960, De Hory struck a trade deal with two art dealers, Fernand Legros and Real Lessard, who devised many of the most brilliant and insidious tactics to corrupt the epistemological mechanisms that govern the art market.

Above all, Legros and Lessard recognized the importance of hiring art experts who could “guarantee” the authenticity of works. They knew who to bribe and who to cheat. At some point, they even managed to convince the artist Kees van Dongen that he himself had painted a work by Elmyr De Hory. By holding an exhibition on Raoul Dufy, they made sure to mix authentic works with those made by Elmyr. They put forgeries up for auction and then bought them back, giving the paintings the authority of having previously been publicly sold. To ensure a supply of reliable precedents they had stamps copied and produced their own documents. They did the same with the customs stamps, which facilitated transport and in turn provided an artificial provenance. They bought prewar monographs because the plates were easy to replace with a photographic copy of a De Hory forgery.

Few events in the art world confer as much status as the inclusion of an painting in a book, as it signals an almost unquestionable authenticity and elite status. Both the dealership duo and Elmyr understood how to exploit the weak points in the system. During the 1950s and 1960s, De Hory is believed to have forged more than a thousand works by great artists that were sold across five continents. Many have been removed from museums. Others, some experts say, have not been and perhaps never will be. De Hory created so many forgeries of Amedeo Modigliani that it has become impossible to compile a definitive catalog of the artist’s original work, according to Kenneth Wayne, director of The Modigliani Project.

However, no new forensic techniques for analyzing pigments were anticipated by Elmyr nor the dealers. Most likely, this was due to a lack of knowledge about the history of the paintings, as it relates to their composition, and therefore the inability to anticipate that new forensic techniques such as X-ray fluorescence and Raman spectrometry would unveil their scam. These technologies can quickly determine elemental and molecular compositions and identify materials that shed light on a production date which was later than the painting claims to be, and in this last and crucial respect, De Hory’s artifice could be exposed.

In 1964, many experts and art galleries became suspicious of these works, when Legros sold 56 fakes to Texas oil millionaire Algur Meadows, who discovered the fraud and alerted Interpol, exposing De Hory as the artist behind the works. . The police were soon on the trail of Legros and Lessard. Legros sent De Hory to Australia for a year to keep him out of the eye of the investigation.

Life in Ibiza.

De Hory, center the life and soul of the Ibiza parties.

Most of the works he painted would be done in Ibiza in the 1960s, where he had a hidden studio his villa, named La Falaise. His life was relatively quiet, until the plot was uncovered. Fleeing justice, he soon had Legros co-inhabiting the villa, who claimed ownership and threatened to evict De Hory from La Falaise. Living with Legros was increasingly difficult, so De Hory decided to leave Ibiza. Legros and Lessard were arrested shortly thereafter and jailed on charges of various check frauds.

Tired of eluding Interpol for some time, Elmyr decided to return to Ibiza and accept his fate. It was not until August 1968 that a court convicted him, and solely for crimes of homosexuality, without being able to show any visible supporting evidence and be able to associate him with the Legros and Lessard frauds; sentencing him to only two months in prison and one year of expulsion from the island. During that period he resided in Torremolinos, Malaga.

A year after his release, Elmyr De Hory, who by then was a celebrity, returned to Ibiza. Soon after, she told his story to the writer Clifford Irving, who wrote his biography with the title: Fake! The story of Elmyr de Hory, the greatest art forger of our time, who he turned into an international bestseller. Irving himself was later convicted of another fraudulent biography of Howard Hughes, the famous aviator mogul. Shortly before, Irving and De Hory participated in Orson Welles’ documentary F for Fake (1973), which closely portrays this duo of counterfeiters and their abstract circumstances. In the documentary, De Hory questioned that his forgeries were inferior to the original paintings, mainly because they had gone unnoticed by the “reputed” expert class and were appreciated when believed to be genuine. In F for Fake, Welles also raises questions about the intrinsic nature of the creative process and how deception, illusion, or outright fraud can often prevail in the art world; in some respects, minimizing the guilt of the art forger and the outliers around him.

In 1969 a series of recent scandals had connected Elmyr De Hory to forgeries in the United States and France. However, in Spain he was still safe from the consequences. So he embraced his new personality: the great forger who had deceived the art world.

In the early 1970s, de Elmyr decided to try his hand at painting again, but this time he would sell his own original work. Although he had gained some fame in the art world, he made little profit and soon learned that the French authorities were trying to extradite him to stand trial on fraud charges. By rule this took a long time, as Spain was going through its last years of the dictatorship and did not have any extradition treaties with France yet.

On December 11, 1976, Mark Forgy, Elmyr’s assistant and partner, informed him that the Spanish and French governments had reached an agreement to extradite him. Soon after, de Hory took an overdose of sleeping pills and asked Forgy not to intervene or stop him from taking his own life. However, Forgy later went for help to take De Hory to a local hospital, though along the way he died in Forgy’s arms. Later that year, Clifford Irving had expressed doubts about Elmyr’s suicide, claiming that he may have faked his own death to escape extradition, but Forgy had dismissed this claim.

Throughout his 30-year career, Elmyr de Hory inserted more than 1000 forgeries into the art market, many of these works still residing unexposed in museums and private collections today. Living a life that can be seen as one of the greatest works of conceptual art of the 20th century, which in turn meant a deep critique of the art market. The only thing you can be sure of from this phony master is the uncertainty of the legend that surrounds him and the extent of his charade.


Martinique, E. (2019). Elmyr de Hory – The Story of the Most Famous Forger in Art History. Online Art Blog: Widewalls

Taylor, J. (2014). The Artifice de Elmyr De Hory. Online Blog: Intend to Deceive, Fakes and Forgeries in the Art World

Hillstrom Museum of Art (2020). The Secret World of the Art Forger Elmyr De Hory: His Portraiture on Ibiza. USA: Gustavus Adolphus College

Forgy, M. (2012). The Forger’s Apprentice: Life with the World’s Most Notorious Artist. CreateSpace. Print.

Rød, J. (2010). Fake Fakes in the Forger’sOeuvre. Online Blog: Elmyr de Hory: The Official Website by Mark Forgy

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finca-garden-morna-romero-lavanda-1The Ibicencan Garden (II). Models of Adaptation

The Ibicencan Garden (II). Models of Adaptation

In the last two decades in Ibiza there has been a gradual trend towards the design of gardens with native and Mediterranean plants. This trend that has been accompanied in parallel through popularity of modern interpretations of the original architecture of the Ibiza, as seen for example in the popular Blakstad style. Many of Ibiza’s native trees are of symbolic importance, as well as for decorative purposes. As with vernacular architecture, when it comes to construction, indigenous gardens also have features that become important advantages:

Adaptation to the environment: less need for irrigation, intensive care, fertilizers or chemical products and the hability to recover from eventual setbacks and pests. Mediterranean plants tolerate drought well and even tolerate some degree of carelessness.

Resource and energy savings: such as the cost of water, electricity and other operating resources, as well as the costs of gardening and maintenance services.

Sustainability: the less need of fresh water, an increasingly scarce resource on the island, and the impact of invasive species are avoided. In addition, the biodiversity of native flora and fauna is promoted, supporting natural habitats, soil health and the longevity of local species.

Resilience: the Mediterranean climate can sometimes be abrupt and rough; Torrential precipitations can occur in the rainy season, prolonged droughts in spring or summer, causing an increase in the degree of salinity of the network water. These are points to take into account as they can particularly harm species less adapted to the environment.

Reproduction: native plants reproduce more easily in a native environments, so in mature Mediterranean gardens it is common for new specimens of existing plants to appear more frequently.

Continued flowering: as the climate is very sunny, it makes it possible to have a garden designed to be in bloom in all seasons of the year, with some plants (such as Bougainvillea) in bloom for almost 10 months.

Wide variety: the island climate of Ibiza, although considered semi-arid, is relatively mild and offers a greater variety of planting, with multiple possibilities of color, texture and shape. The different combinations that it offers adapt to a multitude of designs.

© Kelosa | Ibiza Selected Properties

For about two decades, a multitude of owners of different nationalities have experienced a change of taste in the type of gardens that surround their houses. The tropical gardens full of palm trees, seas of tropical flowers and large lawns, so popular in the 80s and 90s, are giving way to simplicity of the origins and a more permacultural approach – that is, based on the principle of “working with nature, not against it”.

One characteristic example of this trend is the increase in wild gardens. This consists of leaving part of the garden totally or partially feral, that is, without any kind of care or intervention other than an initial plowing or, on rare occasions, an intervention by plague or disease. The result is what the Ibizan countryside offers by default, where everything is growing in disorder, a great variety of flowers of all colors, types and shapes.

© Kelosa | Ibiza Selected Properties

To add some more splendor to the wild garden, there are a variety of beautiful meadow flower seeds that can be scattered around the plots. These species can coexist in small spaces and each one will appear in its respective season. However, in this case the care technique is more sophisticated and consists in carefully removing the weeds between the plants so that everything develops, flourishes and comes out again the following year. This process requires some experience in gardening and above all to be diligent. For the rest, the seeds are well adapted to the weather and the soil of the island, therefore they do not require special care or fertilizers and they reproduce without much effort.

Ultimately, the Mediterranean garden recreates a relaxing sensation, through its soft-colored plants and flowers with distinctive aromas. For example, with the presence of lavender, rosemary and rockrose, a lush, aromatic garden is achieved with minimal care. A good method is to combine plants that bloom at different times of the year. Other plants, such as bougainvilleas or hibiscus, bloom practically all year round. Olive and lemon trees, while being among the trees best adapted to Ibiza’s climate, give an elegant character to the garden and a large quantity of fruits. To create a secluded environment, there are a variety of climbing plants, such as vines, on rustic-looking vertical trellises, making the most of the available space (especially for smaller gardens).

© Kelosa | Ibiza Selected Properties

There are two types of gardens in Ibiza that fall into a special category and need a somewhat different approach. The gardens by the sea and the gardens with saline water.

Gardens by the sea.

On a relatively small island, with an area of 572km², the influence of the sea extends far inland. There are, for example, strong storms that hit the island in winter, leaving trees bent in the opposite direction to the wind as witnesses of its intensity. It is important to know that these storms do not stop at the garden limits, therefore they must be taken into account to be prepared for the adversities that these gardens usually suffer.

The strong wind off the Ibizan coast can knock down the youngest plants, cutting off tree branches and shrubs. However, the wind is not the biggest problem, but the resulting saltpetre that is deposited through the wind on the earth’s mantle and, dissolved by rain or irrigation water, can damage the fine roots of many plants. These fine roots are the ones that absorb and transport water, so few plants can recover from this saline saturation. In addition, these salts carried by the wind also settle on the leaves and can burn them.

The most important step would be to choose plants that are salt tolerant, which also avoids excessive maintenance costs. These plants tend to be native to coastal habitats and other environments with high salinity, such as the salt marshes. An optimal garden near the sea should also contain mostly dense plants and shrubs, forming a firm structure of robust and wind resistant plants. Generally, this type of vegetation is low in height and has few flowers. The flowers should be select, more like touches of color than for the usual prominence that they usually have in gardens.

Palm trees, pines and cypresses, with their flexible and resistant trunks, are suitable for windy coastal locations. Deciduous trees have less surface area that the winds can attack, since they lose their leaves from autumn when the harsh season begins. Succulent plants have water reserves and are ideal candidates for low maintenance gardens and have a greater tolerance to sea winds. Last but not least, almost any kind of cactus are ideal in this environment, since Ibiza is considered semi-arid and in these conditions they resist practically everything.

© Kelosa | Ibiza Selected Properties

Summer is the most benign season for seaside gardens. Starting in autumn, the plants are put to the test and at the latest during the first winter of its life its put to the test whether a plant can resist the brackish winds. Strong winter winds in Ibiza blow 90% from the northwest, therefore the gardens on the south and southeast coast are largely more protected. In those areas one has more of an option of planting a variety of more sensitive species.

Gardens with saline water.

The residences in the south and southwest parts of Ibiza have a supply water that is of a higher salinity, especially in summer when more people use the water from the network. At some points in the summer you may have to buy bottled water to cook or make a simple coffee, but using that drinking water for the garden would mean an excessive cost.

Many kinds of plants suffer from the salinity of the irrigation water, for the same reasons that we discussed above, but in this case it affects in particular during the summer months. Saline irrigation water, added to brackish winds, can wreak even more havoc on plants that are not acclimated to these conditions. What usually happens in these cases is that the plants look good during winter and spring, due to the rainwater that dilutes the salinity, but when summer arrives they begin to lose their leaves and flowers, presenting an increasingly sickly state until there is no turning back, since its roots can’t tolerate the salinity of the soil, the plant dies.

“Mediterranean Garden” by HeatherW is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

To avoid dramatic scenarios such as the mass death of plants or an exorbitant water bill, there are two possible solutions: one is the construction of a water collection cistern for the rainy season (autumn and spring), which would involve construction, licensing processes and it is not entirely clear to what extent it would solve the problem; the more reasonable second option is to adapt to the circumstances and place plants that withstand both salinity and drought. In this case, it is recommended to plant them between October and April, when the abundance of rains and the more temperate climate help the young plants to adapt to their new habitat, gradually getting used to the increasing salinity, the strong sun and the summer droughts. Here is a quick list of saline water resistant plants.

Some steps that can be taken to reverse high salinity:

  1. Plow the soil, providing organic matter and sand, to increase the permeability of the soil.
  2. Install drainage pipes to evacuate excess water laden with salts.
  3. Abundant irrigation of fresh water that floods and wash the soil.
  4. Choose mainly resistant plants, in particular to the salinity.
  5. Do not abuse fertilizers, as they salinize the soil.

In the long run, the sea has the strength to beat the greatest precautions and care provided in a garden, so lowering the claims makes sense to avoid displeasure, considering the beauty of the seaviews in itself.


About Index. Noahs Garden – Soulgarden for Earthlovers. Ibiza. [consultado 18 de agosto 2020]

Elías Bonells, José. Jardines junto al mar de influencia marítima (2017). Blog: Jardines sin fronteras. [consultado 20 de agosto 2020]

jardin_ibicenco_black whiteThe Ibicencan Garden (I). A Brief History & Botanic Guide

The Ibicencan Garden (I). A Brief History & Botanic Guide

The garden and wild flora that we know today on the island has been largely the result of the different cultures that settled in the Pitiusas throughout history. The ships brought seeds and plants from distant lands that were used for the cultivation. Not all seeds germinated equally in the island’s clayey, calcareous soil, nor did those plants thrive to survive the arid climate without the help of an effective irrigation system. After several centuries, some of these plants managed to acclimatize better than others and have been included in the catalog of indigenous plants and are today considered endemic to Ibiza and Formentera.

Among the multitude of conquerors who came to Ibiza, three cultures in particular stood out because they had the greatest influence on the introduction of new species and agricultural systems:

1. The Phoenicians (1200 BC – 200 BC) were the great merchants of their time. They founded one of their most important colonies in Ibiza, which meant the true beginning of a solid settlement and cultivation on the island. Having under their control a vast trading network and interaction with other civilizations across the Mediterranean, the phoenicians introduced a large number of new crops and techniques to the island.

2. The Muslim conquest of Al-Andalus and the subsequent Caliphate of Córdoba (AD 900 – 1235) meant a new era of prosperity and abundance for Ibiza, which left two centuries of dark periods of changing dominance of the vandals behind. With the arrival of the Arabs, new plant and fruit tree species were introduced, but above all were the modern cultivation knowledge such as the cultivation of the terraces and the most advanced irrigation systems of their time.

3. New plants and a series of cacti came from the Spanish colonies of Latin America, which adapted perfectly to the island conditions and now make up a significant part of the native flora. These new species from the new continent have been used by the local population for a number of purposes.

Here you will find a short guide to the most characteristic trees, palm trees and cacti of the Ibizan Garden with a brief description of their origin and use:

Carob tree (Ceratonia siliqua) – Its cultivation was extensive in the Arab era, but it is unknown if it is an indigenous tree. The fruits ripen in autumn acquiring a brown color. Carob was normally used as feed for livestock and was used to combat colds. Today considered a superfood and also used in the manufacture of medicines and cosmetics.

The carob trees provided shade in good times and nourishment in bad times. It was especially in the post-war period, when the general famine led to the harvest of a fruit that had hardly been considered before. Animal feed saved the lives of their owners, and later generations paid the debt with affection.

Carob Tree (Ibiza, 1956). Photo: Raoul Hausmann

Almond (Prunus dulcis) – growing wild 6,000 years ago, it began to be cultivated in Central Asia and was probably introduced to Ibiza by the Phoenicians. The almond tree had to be one of the first crops because it was very common in ancient times.

The tree adapted well to the light, calcareous, dry and stony soil of Ibiza as well as the temperate climate, with mild winters and little wind inside the island. It adapts so well in some areas of Ibiza that it blooms in early January. A beautiful natural phenomenon called the “snow” of Ibiza.

Giant Reed (Arundo donax) – was an everyday element of rural life in Ibiza, and came to the island from northern India and Nepal in the 16th century. The farmers used it for various purposes: for tomato plants to climb, to create enclosures for the animals and to create baskets. The cut reeds were later burned. The reed fields were regularly cut and kept under control, but when most of the field work was abandoned, this has led to unprecedented expansion of the reed, and this has recently become a problem for the island’s biodiversity.

The slender reed swaying in the wind in the dry waterbeds seems to beautify the landscape and to be a characteristic element of these habitats. It is incredibly hardy and sometimes even populates dry terrain or salt water lagoons (Ses Feixes).

Prickly Pear or Nopal (Opuntia ficus-indica) – is a cactus of Mexican origin, which was introduced by the Spanish conquistadors in Europe and is very common today. In the finca, it was used as a natural separation element, as a windbreak, as a primitive toilet or as a discrete waste disposal site.

The nopal has an anarchic growth form, which forms a complicated tangle of logs, on which flat blades covered with spikes grow one above the other in completely random order, from which grows a spherical fruit covered with thin, almost invisible needles. This fruit, called prickly pear, has been an important part of the local diet since its arrival on the island and the scoops have been used to heal injuries. Medicinal properties are attributed to the prickly pear. Today it is one of the most popular diabetes remedies. Their tender fruits are prepared liquefied with water or eaten raw or in a salad. The boiled root is also said to be a good remedy for gastritis and intestinal colic.

Holm oak or acorn (Quercus ilex) – formerly populated the forests of the Balearic Islands; but deforestation from the 17th to 20th centuries in Ibiza has led the holm oaks to be a rather rare tree. They are usually seen near rural farms for the use of their wood, which is highly valued for its hardness. This wood was used to make utensils and carriage, in addition to making charcoal. The acorns, are edible for both human and animal use and the bark was used for medicinal purposes, as healing and anti-inflammatory.

A close, bush-like relative, the Kermes oak (Quercus coccifera), is found in the interior of the island, feral near torrents and the forests surroundings.

The biggest holm oak on the island is the Bellotera de Can Carreró, located near Benirrás, seven meters high and a crown 20 meters wide.

Bellotera de Ca’n Carreró in Sant Miquel. © JOAN COSTA

Pomegranate (Punica granatum) – fruit tree of Asian origin, probably introduced by the Phoenicians or Carthaginians. In the past, a dark red pigment was extracted in the Balearic Islands to dye clothes, and the bark of the roots was used to fight intestinal parasites. The fruit is considered a superfood and powerful antioxidant, containing a large number of vitamins and minerals.

The pomegranate is a tree perfectly adapted to the climate of Ibiza and can be seen throughout the territory in the wild.

Fig tree (Ficus carica) – originally from Asia Minor and introduced by the Phoenicians. As an exceptional survivor, it grows easily even in poor or very calcareous dry areas, thanks to strong roots that slowly but steadily grow in depth to maintain groundwater. Indeed, it is recommended to plant the fig tree in an isolated place in the garden, away from the house and pool or any other structures, as it could easily lift the concrete over time.

The fig tree can grow both inside the island and on the coast. Because of its tendency to grow at low altitudes, it can withstand occasional strong winter winds. It should be noted that, apart from the nutritious fruits that we all know, fig trees offer a dense, fragrant shade under the tree top in the summer heat.

The listed fig tree known as na Blanca d’en Mestre, located in the extension of the camí vell de la Mola, in Formentera, is more than one hundred years old and has an enormous crown, supported by juniper struts, which reaches a horizontal surface of between 300 and 350 square meter.

Fig tree na Blanca d’en Mestre, in Formentera. Photo: Pilar Arcos

Loquat (Eriobotrya japonica) – Plant native to China and Japan, probably introduced by the Arabs. Its adaptation is good to the Ibizan environment, but it appreciates the irrigation in the driest months.

It has been better known as an ornamental tree, but it produces a sweet and succulent oval fruit, with a flavor halfway between peach, citrus and mango. It is an excellent diuretic and helps to eliminate excess fluids in the body.

Lemon tree (Citrus × limon) – it is estimated that it originated in China and came to the Mediterranean via Greece. Like the loquat, it was originally used as an ornamental tree. It is one of the fruit trees that has best adapted to the island’s climate and requires minimal maintenance. Excellent source of vitamins and a strong alkalizing agent.

Olive (Olea europaea) – originally from the s. I a. C., reintroduced by the Phoenicians. The olive has sustained the Mediterranean for millennia, providing fruit, oil and wood and a sense of historical importance in its gnarled and ancient branches.

The most magnificent of the trees is an ancient olive tree known as n’Espanya, located in San Carlos. It is believed to be over 800 years old and with a perimeter of 10.5 meters, it is one of the oldest olive trees in the country.

Palm tree (Phoenix dactylifera) – original from North Africa and introduced by Punic peoples (Phoenicians and Carthaginians), where it was planted near water points to take advantage of its edible fruits, the dates – which are a great source of minerals, so It helps to recover muscles, ensures the proper functioning of the nervous system and strengthens bones and teeth.

Apart from its fruit it was appreciated for its elegance and beauty, reaching a considerable height. The palm tree was also a symbol of social status and was used to be planted individually or in groups near the house.

Llegada principal a la finca Can Mariano Prats

Sentry plant (Agave americana) – originally from Mexico and – like the prickly pears – introduced in the early 16th century. It is very drought-resistant, with the leaves forming a rosette at the bottom of the stem to guide the water to its base. The vegetable fiber is extracted from its large bluish green leaves to produce Ibiza’s historic footwear, the Espardenyes.

The cactus, locally called Pitrera, can live up to 100 years and only bloom once (monocarp). The flowering consists of a 5-10 meter high and branched stem with yellow flowers. When the flowers die, the plant dies. Fortunately, before dying, they tend to produce numerous shoots that spread easily.

Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis) – native to Syria, today the most common tree on the island. The wood was mainly used for furniture and firewood, the bark was exported to dye leather, and the waterproof resin that was produced when the juice was cooked was used for shipbuilding and other household chores. This pine is considered to be very resistant and aggressive, colonizes the environment and acidifies the soil to such an extent that only a few species of shrubs and plants can survive in its shade. For this reason, the trees removed the jaws when they appeared in the fields of the cultivation.

Stone pine (Pinus pinea) – unlike the Aleppo pine, this grows very differently and requires more water. It is also a tree that is completely indigenous, Spain being the country with the most specimens in the world. Its prized fruits, pine nuts, are of great nutritional value and contain 2/3 of the proteins in veal meat.

The Pi ver d’en Besuró is the largest specimen on the island, featuring a 12-meter tall height with a 25 meter wide crown and around 100 years old.

Sabina (Juniperus phoenicea) – was introduced by the Phoenicians in ancient times. It offers extremely strong wood that helped build the island’s houses, villages and settlements, while the sap served as an insect repellent resin. The trees themselves were carefully cared for, gently cultivated and made to grow straight and strong.

It is possibly the most emblematic tree in Ibiza and is currently classified as the island’s cultural heritage. A group of ancient Sabinas are located near Sa Rota in Santa Eulalia, a unique tree complex that is listed and protected as a historical heritage.

Grapevines – also introduced by the Phoenicians, but saw the era of maximum popularity in the 19th century. Later the plague of phylloxera arrived in Ibiza and the cultivation decreased. However, the residents have never stopped growing wine. Today the cultivation has expanded massively and the wine that is produced in Ibiza has even attracted attention outside the island. The island offers small valleys surrounded by mountains that are very suitable for viticulture. The soil, which consists of limestone, Dolomites and marl, is mostly clayey.

The “Sant Mateu Wine Festival” is celebrated in December in the village of Sant Mateu, and at this festival, in which people from all over the island participate, the locals present the young wines.

In addition to this selection, other plants such as orange trees, apricots, plums and vines complete traditional agriculture. The wheat and other cereals were mown in May. The red clay soil is fertile as long as it has enough moisture. During the summer, when it is not raining, most of the fields remain unused. Few farmers grew vegetables. The islander’s demand was met by transports from the mainland, and the exports were predominantly the carob fruit and salt.

There are characteristic elements of infrastructure and irrigation that have been of great importance in promoting a more productive crop on the island. These techniques were largely introduced by the Arabs – since they came from the driest desert areas on the planet and had developed (the still) most effective methods of water extraction. These elements are the following:

Terraces – were introduced during the period of Muslim rule and are very common in the length and breadth of the mountainous landscape of the island. These are terraced stone walls along the sloping terrain to create horizontal areas that are suitable for cultivation. They were created in steep terrain of more than 30%, where horizontal excavations were not possible.

Cisterns – usually underground cisterns that are filled by collecting rainwater. They are used in places away from rivers where there are no springs and wells, or where the groundwater is hard and salty and cannot be used to supply people or animals.

Acequias – is an open trench or canal that was built for irrigation or water supply. With the particular development in Arabic culture, these constructions have affinities for use with the Roman aqueducts, although their main use is to irrigate orchards, plantations or fields, using the orography of the site for the distribution and management of water from the networks of the Main channel.

Wells – were developed to optimally use the groundwater before many groundwater veins were exhausted due to overuse and the desalination of sea water had to be used. Meetings and festivals took place around fountains and springs, symbols of life and regeneration in many peoples of the world.

All of these cultivations and constructions are reminiscent of the past of an agricultural island with poor soils, scarce water and a diverse population history. Centuries of invasions and looting followed by hunger and neglect led to a culture of resilience and ingenuity in Ibiza.

Globalization has facilitated access to materials and ideas on an unprecedented scale, but Ibiza’s cultural heritage is still very much alive as a model of self-sufficiency and connection with nature, which for many can be a fundamental part of personal well-being.


Ferrer Abarzuza, A. (1974). La casa campesina de Ibiza. Madrid: Narria. [consulted 10 de abril 2020]

Gurrea Barricate, R. y Martín Parrilla, Àngeles. Eivissa-Història-Època andalusina. EEIF (Enciclopèdia d’Eivissa i Formentera) [consulted 5.6.2020]

Espinosa Noguera, J. Guia Botànica Sa Punta d’es Molí. Ajuntament de Sant Antoni de Portmany. [consulted 10.5.2020]

Blakstad Design Consultants. Heritage: The singular trees of Ibiza. [consulted 1.5. 2020]

Convalia, C. Sanean y apuntalan la mayor higuera de centenaria de Formentera. Diario de Ibiza. [consulted 1.5.2020]

villa_los_amigos_03-900 px-min-LQVilla Los Amigos. Matching bohemian Ibiza with industrial design

Villa Los Amigos. Matching bohemian Ibiza with industrial design

In the middle of the picturesque Atzaró Valley is “Los Amigos”, a nearly 600 m2 villa built by Romano Arquitectos and decorated to the smallest detail by Parisian designer Barbara Boccara, co-founder of the notorious fashion brand Ba&sh. This house is truly unique in that it shows us a curious mix of contemporary styles; Industrial exterior and interior design combined with a bohemian touch, featuring French as well as Californian influences, all surrounded by the most characteristic rustic landscape of Ibiza.

© Kelosa | Ibiza Selected Properties

The Atzaró Valley connects Santa Eulalia with the northeast mountains and the towns of San Lorenzo and San Carlos. This valley has rised in popularity, especially in the last two decades, due to a trend towards the alternative environment of the interior of the island, surrounded by rustic nature in contrast to the popularity of the coast. The valley provides a laid-back lifestyle without losing, on the other end, a certain proximity to the “urban bustle” that Santa Eulalia and its nearby coastline offers. Furthermore, the Hotel Rural Atzaró has contributed an important part to this popularity, as well as being a luxury countryside hotel, it is a restaurant and popular place for characteristic events such as exhibitions, markets and numerous high-end weddings.

Barbara Boccara can show off a great success story, since after only 15 years of existence her gypset brand Ba&sh already has 170 stores spread all over the world. Barbara knows Ibiza for the first time at 18 years old and since then she has not stopped visiting the island. She says that when she decided to buy a house in Ibiza her personal preference was an Ibicencan finca, while her husband and children were inclined towards something modern. However, with this house it was clear from the first moment, that both parties would be satisfied: «Raw materials, concrete and wood, married by glass».

© Kelosa | Ibiza Selected Properties

This house, built on one level, is a reflection of Barbara Boccara’s creative and eclectic attitude. The pureness of the Industrial style adds character and spaciousness, while a Nordic and Boho-chic interior design infuses a welcoming, bright and dynamic environment, as well as presenting organic and unusual shapes seen in furniture, accessories and lighting. In a way, it is reminiscent of the contemporary California architecture, but with Mediterranean touches.

In the other hand, the characteristic elements of the Industrial style are the walls and ceilings of concrete without plastering, simple design lighting with exposed sconces, light wood panels attached on walls and furniture made of thick cut raw wood. In addition, there is a clear predominance of its main colours: white, gray, black and brown.

© Kelosa | Ibiza Selected Properties

The decoration also shows a clear attraction to raw materials, but with a more ancient approach. Throughout the house they are present in fabrics such as linens, cottons and burlap, which returns a more artisan and warm touch to an Industrial style, which has a certain tendency towards the inert or lifeless. On the other hand, the huge glass doors with ‘invisible’ frames, that surround the entire house, flood the interiors with natural light and give the illusion of being outdoors, just two steps from the exuberant Ibizan nature.

© Kelosa | Ibiza Selected Properties

The exterior of Los Amigos is an extension of the interior. As Boccara comments, the idea was to “respect the carefree spirit of the island”: 1.2-meter-deep sofas, hammocks, cushions on the ground. Candles are everywhere, on tables, shelves, and lanterns on the floor, providing the setting for a certain romance at sunset. In terms of decoration there is a certain French indifference in how art objects are distributed, with local and exotic accessories: a mixture of the Mediterranean and Asia.

Among the furnishings is a personal predilection for the Caravane brand, such as the Holi sofa and armchair on the terrace or the Sirius beds. We also find a large Up model lounge sofa by Saba Italia, a Vieques XS bathtub by Agape (designed by Patricia Urquiola) and an iconic Ergofocus fireplace (from the Focus brand) in the master bedroom. Besides that, the remaining furnishings are a combination of Italian, French and local designer brands.

© Kelosa | Ibiza Selected Properties

In the living room, the contrast between a massive rustic wooden table, metal chairs and contemporary black lamps with eclectic shapes. Once again, its clear to see how the same three concepts are combined: Industrial minimalism, the most artisan Boho-chic and a creative personal touch. These three uneven concepts combine here in perfect harmony, making this an unconventionally cozy modern home. Boccara says that her priority to this home was an atmosphere of relaxation and comfort, no matter where you are.

The Villa Los Amigos is a combination of two styles that originally came opposed to each other and that follow one another in the timeline of history: the Industrial style, with its modern materials and standardized forms; and the Artisan, which represents the ancestral production prior to the machines – handcrafted and uneven. Although many artisanal-looking products today come from industrial production, they still produce a warm atmosphere that the industrial/ minimalist styles fall short of. Boccara’s creativity has managed to combine the two styles in way as if they had always been together.

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Hausmann Portrait - 1933-36-minRaoul Hausmann and his refuge in Ibiza

Raoul Hausmann and his refuge in Ibiza

Raoul Hausmann was born in Vienna in 1886, as the son of an academic painter. In 1900, the whole family had moved to Berlin, where the young artist met the influences of Cubism, Expressionism and Futurism before becoming one of the founders of the Dada movement in Berlin in 1918. Two years earlier, Dadaism emerged in Zurich as a reaction to the World War I, and an iconoclastic questioning of the forms and objectives of art. However, the Berlin version of the movement adopted a more political stance: under the pseudonym Der Dadasophe, Hausmann played an important role, performing mostly institutional criticism in Germany during the years between the two world wars, until he started being persecuted by the Nazi regime.

As he didn’t find the answers in fine arts and particularly in painting he was aiming for, Hausmann was possibly the inventor of photomontage, which consists of combining, without a defined plan, cuts of photography, newspapers and drawings to obtain a plastically new work that would assume a political, moral or poetic message. It emerges as a kind of ‘visual anarchy’ (visueller Anarchie), to become later an extended form of modern art. Besides the important contribution of photomontage, Raoul Hausmann is also known for being a pioneer of phonetic poetry, an experimentalist form that avoids using the word as a mere or as the only vehicle of meaning. One of his most famous poems, Fmsbw, profoundly influenced the work of the important dadaist Kurt Schwitters.

[caption id="attachment_4576" align="aligncenter" width="768"]raoul hausmann der dadasophe in Berlin Raoul Hausmann and Hannah Hoch, 1st International Dada Convention (Berlin, 1920)[/caption]

Dadaism emerges in 1916, in the middle of the world war, with the intention of destroying all pre-established codes in the art world. It is considered an anti-artistic, antiliterary and antipoetic movement, since it questions the very existence of art, literature and poetry with their respective norms. From the beginning, this movement presents not only a rejection of any tradition or scheme prior to it, but became a way of living.

The movement was born at the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich, when the Swiss city had become a refuge for migrants from all over Europe who were escaping the war and where representatives of various schools such as German Expressionism, Italian Futurism and French Cubism met. Dadaism has the particularity of not being a movement of rebellion against a previous school, but questioning the concept of art in its entirety. For the first time in history, chaos, chance or the imperfect were defined as beauty, establishing themselves as central elements within their movement. With marked tendencies towards shocking and destruction as the main objective … in fact, nothing made a Dadaist happier than to scandalize a bourgeois.

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Left:  “ABCD”, Raoul Hausmann (1923). Right: “The Spirit of Our Time – Mechanical Head”, Raoul Hausmann. (1919)

Dada is anti-everything. Anti-art, anti-literature, anti-dada even … its name was chosen randomly, this being a main feature of the movement; as well as freedom, the destruction of norms and canons. Dadaism set a very important precedent for contemporary art, since it contradicts previously irremovable concepts such as eternal beauty, the eternity of principles, the laws of logic and the immobility of thought. The Dadaists, on the other hand, promoted spontaneity, the freedom of the individual, the immediate, the random, the contradiction, defended chaos against order and imperfection against perfection.

Refuge in Ibiza.

Raoul Hausmann landed in Ibiza between 1933 and 1936, fleeing from Germany due to appearing on the list of “degenerate artists”, compiled by the Nazi regime. He arrived accompanied by his wife, Hedwig Mankiewitz, and Vera Broïdo, his lover, both Jews like him.

During his stay, Hausmann explored the most characteristic corners of the island. The simplicity, the morphology of its landscapes, the archaic customs of its inhabitants and its architecture quickly subjugated the artist. Thrilled by the material and cultural purity of the place, he focused mainly on any reference to anything that was intact or that had not undergone any post-industrial alteration.

Finca around Sant Josep, Ibiza (1934)

He discovered the importance of material culture in the rural architecture of Ibiza; which impregnated the exhaustive analysis that he made of these constructions and the morphology of the landscapes. Hausmann admired the sense of autonomy and self-sufficiency embodied in these peasant homes. He also admired the singular simplicity, the nobility and purity of its architectural forms, created exclusively to respond to the needs of man; an “architecture without architects” in which he observed something primitive as well as contemporary, with clear geometries and controlled proportions.

Hausmann began writing anthropological and historical essays about the island, and his images were published in various magazines. His drawings, collected in diaries and notebooks, provide a unique insight at the origins of the constructive reason and the materials of the ancient houses. He made these houses one of the main reasons for his photographs as well as the inhabitants of Ibiza. Hausmann had a special sensitivity for photography, with the intention of projecting small but intense experiences from which one could extract particular appreciation.

Photos and Notebook (R. Hausmann): Finca Can Mestre / Can Palerm.

His statements are represented on hundreds of typed pages and almost five hundred photographic negatives, as well as a book published by the artist called Hyle. The legacy of the artist illustrates the “virgin” Ibizan landscape, which sustained an isolated and archaic local culture. Both constituted the perfect stage for the experimentation and artistic development of Raoul; a harmonized environment, the result of the respectful material interaction of farmers who used natural resources only to respond to their primary needs, where technical limitations and natural supply conditioned the results.

These works would be complemented with Hausmann’s research tasks, identifying links between the architecture of Ibiza with references in other Mediterranean constructions and cultures; a fact that would also captivate later scholars, such as Rolph Blakstad from around the 1950s.

When the Spanish Civil War began, Hausmann joined the republican side and even managed to organize an international anti-Franco committee in Ibiza. But when the island fell into the hands of the Fascists, he was forced to abandon it and continue his exile in Switzerland. The following years were described as a bitter exile, during which his work was dispersed or destroyed. After finishing the Second World War in Europe, Hausmann settled in Limoges, France. There he continued his artistic production of which among others he resumed painting once again, which he had left aside for so many years, and, according to local witnesses, he lived a fairly lonely life until his death in 1971.

Left: Raoul Hausmann, L’homme qui a peur des bombes (The Man who is Afraid of Bombs) (Film. 1957) / Right: Raoul Hausmann, Dada Raoul, (1951)

Hausmann was known to be a rebel throughout his life. He never took anything for granted and always fought against all kinds of certainties that he considered unjustified. His life was a continuous struggle to counteract the authoritarianism and German fanaticism of the time. In this light, he always maintained a Dadaist stance faithful to contradiction. He profoundly questioned the state of the society and the so-called progress, at a time when it was considered purely beneficial; a general doctrine that later contributed to the disasters of two world wars.

After settling down in Ibiza, however, Hausmann admired an archaic culture and way of life and a handcrafted utilitarian architecture. His studies of the Ibizan fincas, which were the result of many cultural influences (Phoenician, Egyptian, Roman, Arabic), were intended to demonstrate that: – “the idea of a single origin was a fiction, and that the so-called ‘purity’ of a people or culture didn’t exist”. His portraits of the peasants of the island differ drastically from the ‘racial’ portraits so practiced at that time. Halfway between study and poetry, he described those dignified subjects as “fierce and freedom-loving”, and he liked to portray them in photographs outside of their usual context.

Photo: Raoul Hausmann

One can argue that both the depth of Hausmann’s thinking and the extent of his centers of interest, as a writer, poet or as a photographer, are still undervalued nowadays. Reluctant to great artifices or effects in his photography, but remarkable how this simplicity of his images is at the same time modest while very real and powerful. In this article it is only possible to show a part of the work and creativity of this extraordinary artist, encouraging the reader with interest to look more deeply into further of Raoul Hausmann’s work.

To end with, a characteristic example of the Dadaist movement, the phonetic poetry:

The Great War in a Nutshell (excerpt from a lecture on the artistic movement of Dadaism and its historical context.) The soundtrack is compiled from Futurist and Dadaist music and poems from the 1910s and 1920s as Kurt Switters , FT Marinetti and Raoul Hausmann.)


Crespo MacLennan, G. (2017). Raoul Hausmann: fotógrafo en Ibiza. Diario: El País.

Teixeira, C. (2018). La Ibiza Inédita de Raoul Hausmann. Blog online: Leer y tejer.

Plataforma ArteEspaña. Entrada: Definición del Dadaísmo. (2005). Enciclopedia del Arte (online).

Le Musee Rochechouart (2018). Entrada: The Raoul Hausmann Resource Library. Chateau de Rochechouart.


It is possible that the pictures and the content reaches us through different channels and is sometimes difficult to know the author or the original source of the content. Whenever possible we added the author. If you are the author of any content (image, video, photography, text, etc.) and do not appear properly credited, please contact us and we will name you as an author. If you show up in a picture and think it impugns the honor or privacy of someone we can tell us and it will be withdrawn.

Kelosa Blog editors are not responsible for the opinions or comments made by others, these being the sole responsibility of their authors. Although your comment immediately appears in Kelosa Blog we reserve the right to delete (in case of using swear words, insults or disrespect of any kind) and editing (to make it more readable) or undermines the integrity of the site

Fallingwater,_also_known_as_the_Edgar_J._Kaufmann,_Sr.,_residence,_Pennsylvania,_by_Carol_M._HighsmithTraditional vs. Contemporary Architecture. The Energy Challenge

Traditional vs. Contemporary Architecture. The Energy Challenge

Vernacular architecture has evolved over many years to address the inherent problems of housing. Through a process of trial and error, populations have found over the centuries ways to deal with the extremes of climate. However, the influence of Western culture is omnipresent and the tendency to an internationalized construction style has resulted in a reduction of traditional solutions.

Logically, modern inhabitants demand higher standards of comfort in their homes. Such standards can be achieved through the use of machinery like air conditioning systems, which have considerable initial costs and an even greater energy demand in the long-term. However, with the careful use of traditional techniques it is possible to create thermal control improvements, since there are clear advantages to drastically reduce energy needs and a greater use of architectural style can create a more pleasant living space.


Fallingwater, by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright (1934) /Photo: Carol M. Highsmith (public domain)

This does not mean that designers should imitate the paths of the past. Modern materials, technology and innovative construction techniques should be used in the search for efficiency and profitability. Despite this, ignoring our architectural heritage and overlooking the accumulated wisdom of the past involves neglecting the inevitable challenge for greater energy efficiency need in the s. XIX.

The wisdom of popular construction provides us with the protection of unfavorable climatic conditions and achieve a comfortable microclimate are the primary objectives of this architecture, as well as design buildings that are in harmony with the harsh climates of its various regions.

In traditional architecture, the internal thermal regulation mechanism is incorporated in the building itself. It takes into account the topography, construction, morphology, even the layout and use of internal spaces participate in the function of the mechanism of thermal regulation.

However, internal conditions abstained considerably from the current comfort requirements. Rapid and spectacular advances in the technology of heating and air-conditioning installations for refrigeration, as well as other technical innovations and international design influences, have displaced the architecture of traditional values and principles.

Mechanization and internationalization led to the rejection of traditional methods and the lack of knowledge of the physics of construction deprived the structure of the building from its basic skills and left it at the mercy of the climate. Modern buildings have become climatically inept, with air conditioners replacing natural cooling, assuming a high energy consumption, as well as a cost reduction for construction companies and a huge profit for the energy industry.

Submission of architecture to the machine also leaves some problems of basic comfort conditions in the interior unresolved; such as cost problems, maintenance of mechanical facilities or energy over consumption. In Great Britain, for instance, buildings have shown to absorb a huge percentage of total energy consumption that reaches up to 50% of total on average.

Fossil fuel scarcity, as well as the growing degradation of the environment, have awakened the interest of the use of more ecological materials, processes and energy sources and has made it necessary for our modern buildings to provide shelter with the least possible expenditure of energy.

Casas Bioclimáticas ITER – Sur de Tenerife

This gave rise to a new approach to bioclimatic architecture, which considers the building as a whole from the beginning stage as a place of energy exchange between the interior and exterior, the natural and climatic environment. Consider the building as a living organism; a dynamic structure that uses the beneficial climatic parameters (solar radiation for winter, sea breezes for summer, etc.) while avoiding the most adverse climatic effects. In this approach, the mechanical systems are integrally interconnected with the architecture and must be taken into account as fundamental elements of the building.

This new approach seeks to evaluate the energy demands for heating and cooling in buildings, first of all analyzing the free energy systems that are available. The preliminary analysis of bioclimatic terrain graphics for architectural design allows to outline strategies for an appropriate building location in any season of the year, which could considerably reduce the energy cost and minimize the need for mechanical means, while considering high standards of modern comfort criterias.

It is clear that the task of the modern architect is considerably more complicated than that of the ancient builders. The demands of modern life introduced new factors and considerations into the design of buildings beyond the relatively “basics” of the traditional lifestyle. As technology advances and life becomes more demanding, the judicious and optimal organization of complex variables that involve technical, social, utilitarian and cultural aspects, still converge in the creation of cosiness and convenience for the inhabitant. The priorities of the architect in the design process is therefore altered; machines become more important in the production of comfort standards. In addition, as the feeling of ‘comfort’ is a subjective perception, it varies from person to person from one culture to another and over time. Therefore, it is unfair and wrong to judge thermal comfort levels in traditional buildings for the same pattern we use for modern ones.

However, the tools, materials and techniques available to the modern architect are more than the indigenous builder could ever have dreamed of. In addition, the architect has the advantage of the accumulated knowledge of his predecessors. Through the union between the traditional viable approach to construction and the complex design criteria of contemporary practice, recommendations can be derived for maximum energy efficiency in the building.

In addition to these two main elements of traditional architecture that mitigate extreme weather conditions, the organization of spaces and their orientation, other architectural solutions that reflect traditional wisdom and are used in modern passive solar architecture are identified. These components are the varied designs of windows and their shading devices, such as blinds, screens, pergolas and overhangs.

Of these, the courtyard, the overhangs or side walls and the manually operated shutters were tested in a series of parametric optimization studies and it was discovered that the more complex houses with a U-shaped patio, save more energy than the simple forms. This was attributed to the additional factors involved in the thermal performance, with the introduction of carefully chosen parameters in the optimization studies that act as regulators in the house, such as the enclosing insulation and the orientation with more surfaces exposed to the south. It has become obvious that an effective pattern requires thermal studies for each building with its own geometry, configuration and particularities of an integrating design approach.

For the shading, it was concluded that the optimized design of overhangs and lateral walls, without shutters or blinds, could provide sufficient summer sun control to maintain thermal comfort inside. The application of blinds is often limited by a series of environmental, architectural, economic and behavioral design considerations. The solar control function could then be carried out as a secondary function and the blinds could be installed mainly, if necessary, for privacy or security. However, the conclusions of studies reinforced the belief that the intention of the inhabitants of the Mediterranean in regards to shading of the blinds was for the maintenance of interior comfort.

The passive responses of traditional architecture to local environmental conditions and influences represent a treasure trove of knowledge and information patterns for modern sustainable and bioclimatic architecture. Therefore, successful climate design should not ignore the accumulated experience and wisdom of our ancestors, but should develop after a deep understanding of the scientific knowledge, rather than an emotional assessment of traditional architecture. The architectural expression must respect regionalism and be based on a multidisciplinary design approach.

Mass knowledge and technology from modern industrial development should not be ignored either. Therefore, architecture must be a synthesis of both, the aspects that are in harmony with traditional values and at the same time adequate for contemporary societies, their cultural identity and human scale, based on appropriate technology.


Serghides, Despina K. (2010). The Wisdom of Mediterranean Traditional Architecture Versus Contemporary Architecture – The Energy Challenge. The Open Construction and Building Technology Journal, 2010, 4, 29-38.



It is possible that the pictures and the content reaches us through different channels and is sometimes difficult to know the author or the original source of the content. Whenever possible we added the author. If you are the author of any content (image, video, photography, text, etc.) and do not appear properly credited, please contact us and we will name you as an author. If you show up in a picture and think it impugns the honor or privacy of someone we can tell us and it will be withdrawn.

Kelosa Blog editors are not responsible for the opinions or comments made by others, these being the sole responsibility of their authors. Although your comment immediately appears in Kelosa Blog we reserve the right to delete (in case of using swear words, insults or disrespect of any kind) and editing (to make it more readable) or undermines the integrity of the site


Modern Home of Exquisite Minimalism in Es Cubells

Modern Home of Exquisite Minimalism in Es Cubells

Located in a rural area between Es Cubells, Porroig and Es Jondal, in one of the most desired areas of the south coast of Ibiza, this newly completed villa stands out above the rest of the island’s newly builded modern homes. A fact not hard to see, since it marks a clear difference for the quality of its materials, the elegance in contemporary, the iconic furniture, the avant-garde architecture and, of course, its location; presenting free and beautiful views to Formentera, and the Cala Jondal and Es Cubells bays and the nice villages of San Josep and Es Cubells can be reached within minutes. A home designed with taste and dedication, both horizontally and aesthetically, offering full performance of its location, with the right orientation of indoor and outdoor spaces.


© Kelosa | Ibiza Selected Properties

This is also an object that seeks to offer maximum privacy, but without being secluded, since there are several neighbors next to and in the nearby area. The property owns 2700 m2 of land, completely fenced and accessed by a private road with an electric gate. It is a plot of great quality, since its south-orientated, with more light throughout the year, sun downs in winter, summer cross-winds and a few other benefits which are found in the likewise south-orientated traditional Ibizan homes. In addition, as far as lifestyle is concerned, it is conveniently located between several desired places in the southwest of Ibiza, as well as 10 min. by bicicle to Es Torrent beach or less than 5 min. by car from Es Jondal beach. Ibiza Town and the airport are only about 10-15 min. drive away.

The main entrance to the house is the access to an extensive and bright room in a diaphanous open space, 3’30 meters high ceilings and a large panoramic window of 14 meters length, with sliding doors that invite to the spacious front terrace and open up to the iconic landscape and the intensive blue seaviews. Living room, dining room and kitchen are connected in the same space and, despite being technically the same room, the living room is visually disconnected from the kitchen and the dining room by the walls of the access to the lower floor, creating in this way an autonomous and “personal” space, but without being disconnected from the life of the house. The dining room is flooded with light and leads to an open high-quality custom-made Warendorf kitchen which is fully equipped and has electrically operated drawers. The highlight of the kitchen is the combination of macassar ebony wood and rolled stainless-steel finishes.

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© Kelosa | Ibiza Selected Properties

From this main room one can access the lower floor through stairs, separated by three walls that enclose the cubicle-shaped access with large front glass. This strategic window allows natural light to enter the space of the stairs during the day, and for the nocturnal hours bands of indirect lights subtly illuminate each of the steps. Windows are from the leading manufacturer PanoramAH!. These large windows are minimalistic, with 2 cm aluminium frames to ensure undisturbed views. All windows have electric, aluminium sunblinds, which enable the adjustment of the amount of light coming in to the house. Beautiful light and shade effects are the result.

The lower floor has a large master bedroom, with en suite bathroom and dressing room, as well as a private garden, and three more bedrooms all with bathroom en suite. The bedrooms are all on the lower floor and, despite having a considerable surface area, the ceiling heights decrease with respect to the upper floor in favor of a more secluded and cozy feeling. All bedroom doors are from the Italian manufacturer Lualdi, of the “invisible” type, as they are visually in one, smooth line with the walls. The bathrooms are very spacious and receive a lot of natural light, equipped with accessories of Italian design by Cocoon and functional designs of the German manufacturer Duravit. The shower walls in all bathrooms are cladded with a beautiful, dark natural stone. The master bathroom has a double shower, from where one looks on to an outside natural stone wall. All the bed- and bathrooms are fully equipped with quality custom-made wardrobes, and in the master bedroom have a eucalyptus wood finishing.

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© Kelosa | Ibiza Selected Properties

The furniture in the home is scarce, but stands out for its marked originality. Each piece is consciously chosen to give the minimalist space a sophisticated character. The living room, for instance, consists of the Lord Sofa and a Kay Recamiere chaise lounge, both by Christine Kröncke. The dining room table is made of a single piece of Kauri wood, a gigantic tree endemic to the North Island of New Zealand (called by the Maori natives as The Father of the Forest), with a wood that is prized for its hardness, versatility and its rarity. This unique piece is combined with the classic Nordic design Wishbone chairs by Hans J. Wegner and above the dining table there is a large suspension chandelier from Foscarini, the Allegretto Vivace. To decorate the large, white walls, there are 3 paintings of the internationally recognized German artist Gregor Gleiwitz, who had several exhibitions in Berlin, Los Angeles or London, for instance.

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© Kelosa | Ibiza Selected Properties

The architectural design manifests itself with a clear predilection for large spaces and high ceilings in common rooms, but also with a love for detail that is present throughout the house. This precision can be observed, for example, in the borders incorporated in the wall, presenting functionality without clashing with the sharp lines, or in discreet and balanced artificial lighting. The large windows of the front of the house can be defined as “invisible doors”, with an almost imperceptible frame which allows an uncluttered view of the landscape. The blinds have been chosen exactly the same shade as the frames for the least possible visual impact. The floors inside the main and the guest house and all the terraces are made of a lime stone from Portugal, emulating the local coastline rock, the marés, which forms the whole wall of the Dalt Vila citadel and was used since Ancient times in Ibiza. The terrace in front of the living room has not been covered on purpose, in order to give the buyer the choice of various options, which could be covered with a wooden pergola or by sun sails.


© Kelosa | Ibiza Selected Properties

The exteriors of the house are mainly built with natural products that do not clash with the landscape: native plants, bushes and fruit trees, natural stone walls, aged wooden beams; all these arranged creating simple geometric shapes. These forms are in turn typical of the minimalist design of the house and soften in a certain sense the contrasts between human design and the nature landscape. The exterior also offers several terraces and an elegant swimming pool, covered with dark stone tiles, which overflows on its four sides. The level of the pool is slightly elevated above the level of the terrace, and this in combination with the black pool tiles and the overflow on all 4 sides, gives a beautiful “mirror-effect”.

A lot of effort has been made with the landscaping; various areas have been created, using mostly local plants like lavender, rosemary, oleander and other mediterranean plants. Levels are separated by big natural stone blocks. In the garden one will find very large and old pine trees, olive trees and fruit trees. The garden offers full privacy from the surrounding houses. Underneath the largest and oldest pine tree in the garden, one will find DEDON’s Hanging Lounger, creating a relaxing chill-out area with beautiful views. There is also a separate guest house with two additional suites, each with its individual entrance, aswell as a personal studio apartment a fully equipped Bulthaup kitchen, which can be used by guests or a housekeeper.

© Kelosa | Ibiza Selected Properties

At Kelosa, we exclusively manage the sale of this property. If you wish you can access the information of this home for sale on our website here.





Hidalgo, S. Los beneficios del minimalismo. Forbes. [consulted april 2018]

It is possible that the pictures and the content reaches us through different channels and is sometimes difficult to know the author or the original source of the content. Whenever possible we added the author. If you are the author of any content (image, video, photography, text, etc.) and do not appear properly credited, please contact us and we will name you as an author. If you show up in a picture and think it impugns the honor or privacy of someone we can tell us and it will be withdrawn.

Kelosa Blog editors are not responsible for the opinions or comments made by others, these being the sole responsibility of their authors. Although your comment immediately appears in Kelosa Blog we reserve the right to delete (in case of using swear words, insults or disrespect of any kind) and editing (to make it more readable) or undermines the integrity of the site





front porch cala compte white angel luxury developmentTWA Cala Comte. Architecture & Lifestyle Management

TWA Cala Comte. Architecture & Lifestyle Management

The White Angel is a new luxury housing development project just 1 km from the beach of Cala Conta, one of the most popular destinations in the northwest of Ibiza.

© TWA Cala Comte | OD Group

The promotion was designed by the architect Víctor Rahola, originary from Barcelona and a reference today in the architecture scene of Ibiza. Rahola has proposed the plans of the houses in an L-shape, attributing them a design with a fine balance between tradition and avant-garde, bringing benefits of Mediterranean architecture together with a contemporary minimalist approach.

The catalan architect has made every effort to meet the expectations of the luxury lifestyle and at the same time ensure the sustainability of the environment. As Rahola himself tells, a year and a half of project have been needed to combine these two concepts, opposed in many of its elements, but not incompatible. Regarding sustainability, they have always tried to incorporate bioclimatic strategies to reduce energy demand: thermal (and acoustic) insulation, natural ventilation, sliding walls, passive protection, sun protection and garden roofs.

© TWA Cala Comte | OD Group

Each of the 15 units has 352 m2 of living area, with a terrace, two swimming pools, a garden and a basement. However, the surface of the plots can vary, between 600 m2 to 1000 m2, depending on the property unit. Each house has three floors, among which are the five bedrooms (two en suite). The garden and the main pool are on the ground floor. The main bedroom in the attic, with access to a large terrace with an infinity pool, from where you can enjoy the sea views and the famous sunsets of Cala Comte.

All homes of The White Angel offered the possibility of small customizations to the taste of their owners. In the complex there are three different types, which allow you to play with the variation of your own volumes. In reality the whole complex is projected as a “mat building”, a modulated system that by means of the diagonalization aims to generate the variety, as for example some interior spaces and the gardening could be different in all the houses.

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© TWA Cala Comte | OD Group

Inside as well as outside, the finishes are made of wood and Sinai stone. The sand colored floors next to the large windows transmit warmth and brightness. One can describe the interiors as a combination of large and generous spaces with the domesticity of the small, where the use of warm colors and white predominate and the furniture and the coatings always are in harmony in one same space. The position of the walls generate shadows and, in turn, allow natural currents of air that manage to refresh the environment of the house. It is entirely an architecture that, despite being fundamentally contemporary, express the character of the Mediterranean building style, specifically what refers the culture and architecture of Ibiza.

The director of The White Angel, Jorge Juan, highlighted that the company “carries out the project from beginning to end, which allows to control the whole process and offer excellent quality”. The fact that The White Angel Cala Comte was developed by a group of hotel experts brought the fairly recent trend of Lifestyle Management to this urbanization, with most kinds of premium services to expect as an added value. All the homes include an integral service, among which are the daily maintenance of the property, punctual repairs, but also transfers, babysitting service, organization of parties or restaurant reservations.

© TWA Cala Comte | OD Group

The location of the residential complex is another point in its favor: just a walk from the beach of Cala Compte, 5 minutes by car to Cala Codolar, 10 min. from Cala Bassa and the cliffs of Es Vedra and 20 min. from the airport and Ibiza Town. The natural landscape surrounding the complex is one of the most impressive on the island, with the sea always present in the background and can be enjoyed both in summer and in winter. It is ideal not only for sea and beach activities, but also a popular destination for bike rides, jogging or simply peaceful long walks.

What this promotion stands out for among others in the same environment, is the concept in which the hotel experience was put into practice to provide added value, in the form of service and customized solutions for the new owners. In addition to this, there are of course the exclusive location, being one of the last building plots of Cala Compte area; aswell as the sophistication of the design, adapted to the location and taking advantage of the last tendencies in bioclimatic and sustainability, both tendencies in modern architecture that are based some even on the vernacular architecture of the island.

© TWA Cala Comte | OD Group

According to the project managers, during their presentation, these mentioned before were the three main pillars that distinguish The White Angel’s brand; but on top of that we could also mention the quality of the houses, which are the result and control of all the construction phases – from the architectural project to the construction, the choice of materials, equipment and the importance of the human teams that participate in it.


ACEBAL, Cristina (2017). The White Angel, la urbanización más exclusiva de Ibiza. Diario Expansión.

Social Network Official Page (2017): @thewhiteangelofficial. Facebook.

Europa Press (2017). Promoción The White Angel Cala Comte. Diario El Mundo.

Redacción (2017). The White Angel. Disfrutar de una vivienda exclusiva. Diario de Ibiza.

It is possible that the pictures and the content reaches us through different channels and is sometimes difficult to know the author or the original source of the content. Whenever possible we added the author. If you are the author of any content (image, video, photography, text, etc.) and do not appear properly credited, please contact us and we will name you as an author. If you show up in a picture and think it impugns the honor or privacy of someone we can tell us and it will be withdrawn.

Kelosa Blog editors are not responsible for the opinions or comments made by others, these being the sole responsibility of their authors. Although your comment immediately appears in Kelosa Blog we reserve the right to delete (in case of using swear words, insults or disrespect of any kind) and editing (to make it more readable) or undermines the integrity of the site.

0_Exterior Finca Blakstad Front-(min)Blakstad Designed Finca. Intuitive Match of Traditional and Modern

Blakstad Designed Finca. Intuitive Match of Traditional and Modern

This modern home, situated on a hill in the middle of the wild nature of Ibiza, fuses the traditional native architecture with forms and elements of contemporary design. This personal design, created by Blakstad, is respectful with the environment and provides an atmosphere of cozy living, bringing a modern lifestyle approach to the local vernacular architecture of the island. This culturally sensitive approach to local architecture also reduces the visual impact on the surrounding natural and historic landscape of Ibiza.

© Kelosa | Ibiza Selected Properties

The concept that is based on the original archaic architecture of Ibiza, provides benefits from an ancient popular knowledge related to the bioclimatic and the sustainability of the building. The flat roofs serve to collect rainwater, which is channelled into a cistern for later consumption. The thick walls and small windows serve to isolate the buildings from the outside temperature, so that the interior remain cool during the summer and stay warm in the winter, adapting to the climate of each season. The main facade, facing south, fully captures the rays of the sun in winter and has a greater shadow in summer, allowing a cool breeze to enter the home. In addition, the white painted walls reflect the sunlight and prevent the overheating of the buildings in summer.

The modern minimalist touch allows the transformation of the traditional rustic farmhouse of small dimension and dark interiors, into wide, luminous spaces and diaphanous inner distributions. A series of subtle interventions combine contemporary design with traditional architecture, maintaining the charm of pre-existing structures in order not to loose the warm essence of the rustic style. For the most part it applies that the method, techniques and construction materials are still used as in the old Ibizan farmhouses. Added to this are structural improvements such as increased size of the rooms, higher ceilings and extended windows and skylights, which assure a more bright and light flooded interior. The characteristic wooden juniper beams are still maintained in many of the ceilings and, due to the austerity of the minimalist design, these hardwood beams assume an increased ornamental relevance.

© Kelosa | Ibiza Selected Properties

The house is in an exceptional location near the picturesque village of San Joan, in the northeast of Ibiza, offering wide panoramic views over the mountains all the way to the sea. The access road passes through a beautiful landscape of hills and pine forests and the property itself is surrounded by one of the purest natural sites to be found on the island, from where one can value the tranquillity and beauty of the rural setting. The house has several terraces that offer secluded as well as open spaces. Likewise, the garden offers a traditional landscape, with numerous old olive trees and other autochthone fruit trees, surrounded by different levels of ancient terraced farmland with beautiful natural stonewalls connected by stairs. In front of the villa there is an infinity pool with a large terrace, from where one can enjoy the panoramic view.

© Kelosa | Ibiza Selected Properties

Despite its minimalistic simplicity, the house was designed with great attention to detail, both inside and outside. The inclining walls of Phoenician influence invite the visitor through the main entrance leading to the living room with its high ceilings, its visible juniper beams and open fireplace. The modern style kitchen and the spacious dining room are connected with the living room. At the front of the villa a large terrace connects the living room with the exterior. On the first floor there is a very spacious master suite with its own living room, a fireplace and two further bedrooms suites. The separate annex has an office and salon that could be used as guest house.

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© Kelosa | Ibiza Selected Properties

The design is basically the result of a modern interpretation of the local vernacular architecture. Canadian architect Rolph Blakstad devoted much of his life to the historical study of the traditional Ibizan fincas and its origins, developing a thesis that claimed that the vernacular architecture of Ibiza is the most faithful legacy of the Phoenician and Egyptian constructions of the antiquity and remained largely unchanged throughout the centuries.

The Ibizan fincas are architectural manifestations of pure simplicity and functionality, born of the needs of self-sufficiency with which the inhabitants of the island had lived for centuries. Throughout most of its history, Ibiza was a cultural and economically isolated society that had to use local resources and knowledge in order to survive. Therefore, the construction method pursued subsistence and practicality, thus developing bioclimatic properties and resource sustainability (by necessity). The traditional farmhouses are often completely absent from decorative elements, revealing a large number of technical and aesthetic similarities with the minimalist architecture.

© Kelosa | Ibiza Selected Properties

Blakstad’s intuitive approach is on one hand impregnated by ancient traditions, the result of decades of dedication, and, on the other hand, developed from an appreciation of the need to adapt creatively to current trends without losing the cultural identity of the island. The result is an indisputable success: currently Blakstad Design Consultants enjoys great popularity, setting a trend in Ibiza among an international clientele and lately even imitated by other architects. And it is not surprising, since the simple and symmetrical beauty of its cozy spaces invade the visitor with a feeling of calm and serenity, fact that make these homes a unique experience to live in Ibiza.

This Blakstad house is currently For Sale




White, C. and Blakstad, S. (2012). Ibiza blakstad houses. Barcelona, Spain: Loft.

Pérez Gil, Javier. Qué es la arquitectura vernacula. Historia y concepto de un patrimonio cultural específico. Ed. Universidad de Valladolid. [consulted Agost 25, 2017]

Sánchez, Raquel (2013). El legado intelectual de Blakstad. Diario de Ibiza. [consulted Agost 25, 2017]

It is possible that the pictures and the content reaches us through different channels and is sometimes difficult to know the author or the original source of the content. Whenever possible we added the author. If you are the author of any content (image, video, photography, text, etc.) and do not appear properly credited, please contact us and we will name you as an author. If you show up in a picture and think it impugns the honor or privacy of someone we can tell us and it will be withdrawn.

Kelosa Blog editors are not responsible for the opinions or comments made by others, these being the sole responsibility of their authors. Although your comment immediately appears in Kelosa Blog we reserve the right to delete (in case of using swear words, insults or disrespect of any kind) and editing (to make it more readable) or undermines the integrity of the site.

Josep lluis SertJosep Lluis Sert and the GATEPAC Group

Josep Lluis Sert and the GATEPAC Group

Josep Lluis Sert i López (Barcelona 1902 -1983) is considered one of the most important architects of the 20th century and was one of the introducers of modern architecture in Spain. He was a son of a bourgeois Catalan family of textile industrialists, but socially committed and with democratic ideals.

In 1923 he entered the School of Architecture of Barcelona and was critical of the teaching methods of that time. Therefore, together with Josep Torres Clavé he founded the Association of Students of the School (1926), the embryo of the future GATCPAC (Group of Catalan Architects and Technicians for the Progress of Contemporary Architecture). Sert finished his studies in 1929 and moved to Paris, where he worked in the architectuire firm of Le Corbusier. From then on both of them maintained a close professional and academic relationship.

Paul Lester Wiener, Le Corbusier and Josep Lluís Sert

In 1930, Sert and Torres Clavé promoted the foundation of GATCPAC and in 1932 the GATEPAC (Group of Spanish Architects and Technicians for the Progress of Contemporary Architecture). In its first board of directors were the architects Rodríguez Arias, Illescas, Churruca and Alzamora, and later Subirana, A. Bonet and others joined aswell. This was the introductory group in the State of the modern movement of architecture, “the Nouveau Spirit” and the rationalistic and avant-garde tendencies. This group also edited the magazine A.C. (Documents of Contemporary Activity), published between 1931 and 1937, which constituted a platform of knowledge of the artistic expressions and diffusion of the new tendencies, aswell as architecture and urbanism, photography, visual and decorative arts, literature, gardening and furniture. GATEPAC has also been involved in the improvement of other areas, with proposals such as the construction of schools, the reduction of illiteracy and basically the modernization of the Spanish education system.

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Primeras publicaciones de la revista A.C. (1931-32)

Together with Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret they presented the urban planning project for the city of Barcelona, according to the modern principles of the “Functional City”, better known as Plan Macià (1933-35). Josep Lluís Sert also projected housing, school buildings, hospitals, etc., always incorporating technical, formal and rationalistic language innovations. After that achievement, the government of the Second Republic commissioned to Sert the project of the Spanish Pavilion for the International Exhibition in Paris (1937), showcase and teaching about the values that the republic preached and defended.

Arquitectos del GATEPAC

After the Civil War, during which his partner Torres Clavé died in the front, Sert was judged by a military court that disqualified him to practice professionally in Spain. For this reason, in 1939 he settled in New York, where he collaborated with Paul Lester Wiener with projects in which he used prefabricated structures for the American war administration. With Wiener and Paul Schulz he founded the technical office Town Planning Associates (TPA, 1945-1958), which carried out important consulting on projects and urban designs, at the request of the United States government, mainly for Latin American countries. In the United States, Sert gained prestige and worldwide repercussion with his works and teachings. He is the first Spanish dean of the Harvard School of Architecture (Graduate School of Design – GSD) and president of the International Congress of Modern Architecture (CIAM).

In 1953 he was appointed director of Harvard’s architecture faculty as successor to Gropius, a position he held until his retirement in 1968. He began his second American career with his partner Ronald Gourley and became one of the most prestigious architects among the US Establishment.

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Left: Joan Miró and Sert. Right: Holyoke Center, Harvard University

The Ibizan Inspiration.

In Ibiza of the 1930s, Sert meets an original architecture, uncontaminated, efficient and with a beauty of simple forms and minimalist in its core. The Ibizan traditional houses appeared as an achievement of white cubic habitations with human scale, functional and almost without any decorative elements. An architecture without architects or plans, built by the peasants themselves, born with the materials provided by the land and, far from altering the landscape, these buildings merged with it. Described many times by Sert as an archaic technique that corrects mistakes and adds success until the result that it is today.

Both Sert and his fellow architects of GATEPAC found in these very ancient constructions a model to follow, a model to project the new architecture that they were developing and it was collected in the A.C. magazine.


These were lessons that Sert will never forget and the houses he builds from 1934 will incorporate multiple elements of the Ibizan Finca. Flexibility, juxtaposition of simple bodies in which repetition and difference combine, and unity of scale in composition and diaphanous interiors adapted to the unevenness of the terrain, which offer different possibilities of organization and room, will already be determinant parameters.

Sert wrote in 1934 that the Ibizan was an “architecture without style and without architects, geometric constructions simple, purely utilitarian, of an exemplary dignity, a rest for the eyes and for the spirit … all its elements have the right measure, the human measure”. Sert also sought to establish a dialogue between the rural architecture of Ibiza and some aspects of the new discipline, such as the use of the measurement system developed by Le Corbusier that gives human scale to this architecture. He wanted to perpetuate a language, a system of forms that had been in existence for centuries and adapt it to the uses and needs of the modern lifestyle.

Between 1964 and 1969, together with Rodríguez Arias, he designed and built the Can Pep Simó residential complex in Ibiza’s Cap Martinet area, which consists of 6 single-family homes and apartments known as Els Fumerals, a work in which he develops the concept he had always defended, the “contemporary equivalent of traditional forms”. As Sert himself explained: “In this urbanization we have used a measurement system devised by Le Corbusier called ‘modulor’, which is based on the golden section, a system that allows to maintain a human scale and obtain proportionality in all the compositional elements that, although they are repeated, always appear as different”. Like the Ibizan fincas, the houses of Cap Martinet are open constructions that accept extensions of many different forms.

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Urb. Can Pep Simó (1969)

The Documentation and Conservation of Architecture and Urbanism Foundation of the Modern Movement cataloged the urbanization of Can Pep Simó within the section ‘Modern housing’ and was declared of cultural interest in 2009.

After his visit in Ibiza in the 1960’s, Sert noted that things had changed on the island with the tourism and urban development. He then warned about the risks of landscape blending and destruction that threatened the island: “Introducing elements of imported architecture will destroy the unity and harmony that have survived over the centuries. Imposing a constant discipline of limitation to authentic forms works against Ibiza to remain what it is, something unique.” In fact, he was right. From the decade of the 1970’s the tourism development manifested itself in a large part of the local population in the forgetfulness of the old trades, among them, the secular wisdom turned in its constructions. The ancestors traditional house was changed for an urban apartment or an impersonal house and in great number the traditional houses disappeared or they turned into ruins.

After retiring, Sert was appointed professor emeritus and doctor honoris causa by the Harvard University. He also received an honorary doctorate from the University of Boston (1970) and from the Superior Technical School of Architecture of the Vallès (1981), and the Medal and Honorary Chair of Architecture Thomas Jefferson (1970), the highest professional decoration of the USA. In 1981 the Superior Council of Architects of Spain and the Generality of Catalonia awarded him with the Gold Medal of Architecture. In 1982 the Spanish government awarded him the Gold Medal for Merit in Fine Arts.

Josep Lluís Sert has been the most international Spanish architect in the 20th century. He left an indelible stamp as an outstanding theoretician, and as creator he left a legacy that remains an example to follow. Years after his death, Sert continues well present in diverse institutions, especially in the Architect School.

Sert died on March 15, 1983 in Barcelona. Due to the special significance that Ibiza had for him, he asked that his remains rest on the island and were deposited in the cemetery of Jesus, where a modest tile says ´Sert. 1928-1979´. But in this secular and humble epitaph half a century of magisterial architecture is enclosed.










González, Miguel Ángel. La Huella de Josep Lluís Sert en Ibiza. Diario de Ibiza.

Marí Torres, T. and Torres Torres, R. Grupo de Arquitectos y Técnicos Españoles para el Progreso de la Arquitectura Contemporánea (GATEPAC). Ibiza: Enciclopèdia d’Eivissa i Formentera.

Jiménez Díaz, Manuel. Sert i López, Josep Lluís. Ibiza: Enciclopèdia d’Eivissa i Formentera.

Havard University Repository. Sert, Josep Lluis, 1902-1983. The Josep Lluis Sert Collection: An Inventory. Special Collections, Frances Loeb Library, Harvard Design School.


It is possible that the pictures and the content reaches us through different channels and is sometimes difficult to know the author or the original source of the content. Whenever possible we added the author. If you are the author of any content (image, video, photography, text, etc.) and do not appear properly credited, please contact us and we will name you as an author. If you show up in a picture and think it impugns the honor or privacy of someone we can tell us and it will be withdrawn.

Kelosa Blog editors are not responsible for the opinions or comments made by others, these being the sole responsibility of their authors. Although your comment immediately appears in Kelosa Blog we reserve the right to delete (in case of using swear words, insults or disrespect of any kind) and editing (to make it more readable) or undermines the integrity of the site


architect-rotthier-portraitPhilippe Rotthier. Guardian of Archaic Science

Philippe Rotthier. Guardian of Archaic Science

Philippe Rotthier was born in 1941. In 1964 he graduated with a diploma in architecture at La Cambre in Brussels. As a founding member, he collaborates with André Jacqmain at the Atelier d’Architecture de Genval from 1965 to 1972.

In his youth, traveled throughout the world, from the northern to the south hemisphere, also covering all types of islands: the Azores, the Canary Islands, Ireland, the Hebrides, Shetland Islands, Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland and the Bay of Disko. In all of them he focused on the type of constructions, their techniques and forms, which would later serve him for his studies.

In 1973, he settled in Ibiza, where he built and renovated 80 houses true to the style of the traditional architecture of Ibiza. As a result of his studies on the vernacular architecture and the traditional Ibizan way of life, in 1984 he publishes ‘Ibiza. Le palais paysan‘, a complete essay on the technical wisdom of traditional Ibizan construction, associated with mythology and the set of rituals involved. This work of observation and research is associated with his construction practice and the houses that he builds in Ibiza are an exception within the mega tourist structure of the 1970s and 80s.

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1. Port of Ibiza in the 70s (Photo: Biblioteca de la Facultad de Empresa y Gestión Pública Universidad de Zaragoza CC BY 2.0/ 2. Finca ibicenca Can Frare Verd (Foto: JanManu CC BY-SA 3.0 (Changes made. Link to original)

Philippe Rotthier also played an active role in the preservation of the architectural heritage of Ibiza, mainly through the Taller d’Estudis de l’Habitat Pitius (TEHP), which he founded in 1985. He also founded the European Prize for Reconstruction of the City in 1982 and the Foundation for Architecture in Brussels in 1986.

The houses in which the Belgian architect intervenes have been built according to the traditional techniques and his conception is oriented to give them a maximum of autarky. Rotthier became a specialist in the archaic house, being at the time one of the few architects of the Balearic Islands with the knowledge and maturity to build houses that were related to a thousand-year tradition.


© Kelosa | Ibiza Selected Properties

His personal style is practically invisible in the great majority of his works, even in those of new plant, becoming confused with simple rehabilitations of the ibicencan fincas. Despite this, its architecture seeks to bring together an archaic tradition and a modern way of life. Rotthier’s perceptible intervention is limited to a few subtle touches on the original finca, just enough to adapt it to a modern lifestyle home. These characteristic interventions of the Belgian are for example:

·Expand the size of windows and place skylights on the roof to allow greater light entry in the interior, since the original fincas tended to be somewhat dark inside.

·Increase the height of the ceilings in lower rooms, such as the bedrooms on the upper floor.

·Expand access between the rooms and open new doors to the outside, to create new terraces and open spaces, which adapts the house to a more modern Mediterranean lifestyle.


© Kelosa | Ibiza Selected Properties

·When it came to new plant construction, the size of the rooms in general was expanded.

·The plastering of some of his houses contain pigments of ochre and earth tones, which makes the construction appear even more integrated with the landscape. Others, however, are whitened with limestone just like traditional fincas.

·In case of intervening in the roofs, it was characteristic for Rotthier to resort to techniques of cane construction in the style of the Valencian barracks, the traditional constructions of the littoral and lagoons from the area of Valencia.

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© Kelosa | Ibiza Selected Properties

Rotthiers method of architectural design and production has been the subject of numerous publications, but three stand out: Maisons sur l’île d’Ibiza (1990), Architectural Architectures Ibiza (1997) and XXX à Ibiza (2003). These three publications are significant because they are not limited to describing Rotthier’s architectural discipline, but rather explain the background of an ideological movement that has its origins in the hippie counterculture, very popular among young people in Ibiza in the 60s and 70s.

At the beginning of the seventies in Spain the decline of the dictatorship coincides with the beginning of the mass tourism industry, where liberation and repression share the same scenario. At that time, particularly in Ibiza, the new mentality of social openness coexists with the latest manifestations of traditional culture and economy.

It was in those years that Rotthier, together with his friend the photographer Philippe de Gobert, carried out activities related to the Happening, the independent publishing, in an environment that supported the individual’s awareness of his natural environment. These were artistic and social movements influenced directly or indirectly by the positions of the ideas of May ’68, Allan Watts and Mircea Eliade, which advocate the use of the renewable energies and the rejection to the dominance of the use of petroleum and its derivatives, and nuclear power. Artists, writers, architects, photographers, filmmakers, among others, have surrounded Rotthier’s path and intellectual journey since the years he came to the island.

In a way, Philippe Rotthier “flees” from his native Belgium and the profession of architect as practiced at that time, and experiences in Ibiza a profound transformation in the conception and purpose of the profession. Fascinated at once by the beauty and correctness of the rural constructions of the island, he will first analyze with a scientific and ethnographic vision the reason for that fascination and then learn its rules.



Finca Ibicenca (Foto: Kelosa CC BY 2.0)

His own house in the 70’s will serve him as a laboratory and sets it on paper in one of the most complete studies that have been done of the traditional culture, habitat and rites of which it is the result. He will then put this knowledge into practice in new-build houses or virtually imperceptible interventions of ancient fincas, that would otherwise have probably been demolished by “progress” and replaced by the new concrete constructions of the 70s and 80s. At the same time, the Belgian architect devoted an increasing part of his time to disclose the qualities of the rural houses, as well as to defend the improvement of the quality of the semi-rural environments and the small towns of the island.

Rotthier went from personal fascination to social awareness. As explained in XXX à Ibiza, a different way of understanding architecture and the quality of life was needed in an environment in which, according to him, the past and the present collided in an inconsistent way, with great leaps and few continuities. In addition, the obvious border of physical space made it clear that the macro-social and economic situation imposed unsustainable pressure on the island’s soil.

Philippe Rotthier is the antagonist of the prevailing model of urban exploitation, with a strong opposition to the majority of the elements that define it. These principles were embodied, for example, in the traditional working method (which included a team of craftsmen), in preserving most of the old constructions, in a working approach established in terms of relation with the environment or in privacy as the main objective of the buildings – in contrast to the collectively significant and economically profitable.

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In addition, the Belgian builds a few and slowly. However, this little testimony contains more science than the contemporary production of the 70s and 80s. According to Rotthier, “you can not save time, you can not simplify or industrialize vernacular architecture.” The Ibicencan farms arise from the land, follow their movement and merge with the landscape. Built with the hands of the peasant who works the land, from which he draws the materials for the construction, which are also those that require minimal transport and minimal transformation of the landscape.

Rotthier has also been a catalyst spreading its action along with that of many collaborators and colleagues, travelers, natives, rural and urban, old and new witnesses. Numerous students of architecture made their apprenticeship with Rotthier, who has served as a support and encouragement for creativity and the diffusion of architecture and the arts, which is embodied in the Archives of Architecture Moderne (AAM).

The Belgian architect has done an important job for the preservation of the cultural and natural heritage of Ibiza, in promoting at a key time the awareness of inhabitants and, consequently, of politicians, by divulging and warning that excessive development would inevitably lead to overexploitation, and that would mean a dramatic end to the charm and beauty of this island.


 © Kelosa | Ibiza Selected Properties

The preservation of cultural wealth and the protection of the natural space of a place directly affects the status in the medium and long term of this place, while avoiding an overdependence of mass tourism, which, after all, is the less loyal public and a few big companies truly benefits from it. The most ‘content’ growth model that Ibiza has experienced since then has proved to be more substantial, presenting today record numbers of visitors year after year and establishing itself as a world reference destination for luxury tourism. After recognizing its potential, the key to success for an island with a very small territory has been to diversify and seek to raise the status of its visitors, implementing concrete policy measures such as limiting the new construction to five-star hotels. Today, tourism is even being promoted outside of high seasons and thus reduce the pressure of seasonality.

Since 2006 Philippe Rotthier has divided his time between Ibiza, Brussels and Polynesia, where, on a motu on the island of Tahaa, he built his own house with local materials (as could not it be otherwise). In 2011 he founded the Museum of Architecture – La Loge in Brussels, dedicated to contemporary creation.



Rotthier Prize 2017






Rotthier, P et Joachim, F. (1981). Ibiza. Le Palais Paysan. Eivissa: T.E.H.P./A.A.M.

Rotthier, P., Culot, M., Loze, P., Thiébaut, A., Breitman, M., Marí, B. et Mierop, C. (1984). Maisons sur l’ile d’Ibiza. Bruxelles: Archives d’Architecture Moderne

Rotthier, P., Culot, M., Marí, A., Planells, C., De Gobert, P., Marí, B. et Mierop, C. (1996). Architectures. Bruxelles: TEHP/A.A.M.

Rotthier, P. and Gobert, P. (2003). Treinta años en Ibiza, 1973-2003. [Sant Josep]: TEHP.

Oxford Index. Entry: Rotthier, Philippe. [online] Consulted: 15/12/2016

European Prize of Architecture Philippe Rotthier. Official Site. [online] Consulted: 10/01/2017

Archives d’Architecture Moderne. Official Site. [online] Consulted: 11/01/2017

Ferrer Abarzuza, A. (1974). La casa campesina de Ibiza. Madrid: Narria. [online] Consulted: 10/01/2017


Its possible that the pictures and the content reaches us through different channels and is sometimes difficult to know the author or the original source of the content. Whenever possible we added the author. If you are the author of any content (image, video, photography, text, etc.) and do not appear properly credited, please contact us and we will name you as an author. If you show up in a picture and think it impugns the honor or privacy of someone we can tell us and it will be withdrawn.

Kelosa Blog editors are not responsible for the opinions or comments made by others, these being the sole responsibility of their authors. Although your comment immediately appears in Kelosa Blog we reserve the right to delete (in case of using swear words, insults or disrespect of any kind) and editing (to make it more readable) or undermines the integrity of the site.


cala vadella in winter beach ibiza in morningIbiza’s West Coast: The Fall & Rise of Cala Vadella

Ibiza’s West Coast: The Fall & Rise of Cala Vadella

Up to only 3 years ago, Cala Vadella was stuck in a crisis since the late 90s, when the entire neighborhood was dragged inexorably down to a state of lack in hotel occupancy, suspension of development works, local neglect, empty houses and an entire resort invaded by squatters. In autumn 2009, the hotel occupancy rates, turnover of restaurants and retail sales were still reporting widespread losses of ten percent. In Ibiza that means a awful unprecedented result.

Shopkeepers and neighbours explain that Cala Vedella used to be a glamorous place in the 80s and 90s, but at some point the neighborhood and the area in general had lost its luster. The results of decades of mismanagement became evident: dilapidated ruins of construction projects, standstill works indefinitely, numerous empty houses, decomposing traffic signs, salty tap water, among others. A good example was the planned mall that had to be build along the cliffs at the beach; but when more than a decade of the cliff collapsed, the construction company responsible had to shore up the cliff with hundreds of steel beams, to avoid further worsening. The result is anything but pretty, but didn’t seem to matter much.

Neighbours and people very familiar with the area tell broadly the same story. When tourism began to arrive to Ibiza, in the late 60s, Cala Vadella was a dream: a beach bar, a couple of thatched umbrellas and a handful of houses. In the 70s the first club was built and soon after came the other four holiday resorts. A decade later, German tourism agencies lined up to get a part of the vibrant clubs.

It was a simple business concept and promised good rewards. Investors built a complex and then sold the houses and apartments to private customers, who agreed to rent them to travel agencies during the summer season. In the 80s and early 90s, when business was booming, a combination of all-inclusive vacation packages and entertainment at all hours filled thousands of beds. It was the model to follow.

the beach of cala vadella

Cala Vadella beach in summer. Photos: Kelosa | Ibiza Selected Properties. (CC BY 2.0)

However, at some stage this type of tourism that did flourish Cala Vedella ran out of momentum. In 2009 only two German agencies remained still operating with this concept and only in one of the clubs, as all other contracts had been dissolved. One neighbour explains that at that time the Germans controlled almost all the business of the clubs, and in 2009 their share had already fallen 70%.

It is clear that particularly businesses operating with the concept of vacation club had been the ones who suffered most, on the one hand, from the general fall of German tourism that was already happening in Ibiza since the late 90’s, on the other hand, and even more significant, under the rise of online travel agencies (OTAs) which was a heavy blow for tour operators around the world, which were the ones who supplied almost exclusively these kind of clubs with their customers.

cala vadella in winter beach ibiza in morning

Cala Vadella beach in winter. Photo: Kelosa | Ibiza Selected Properties. (CC BY 2.0)

The symbol of the fall of Cala Vedella clearly represented the former Club Robinson. The place where families once spent the best weeks of the year in recliners at the poolside, in 2009 was a squalid ruin where anarchy seemed to rule: roads with slabs of asphalt that had split, without streetlights, houses undertaken by squatters, abandoned cars stripped of their wheels and other debris lodged in the gardens and patios. Its a peculiar contrast when this former resort with idyllic views to the famous Es Vedra, just ten years later was ruled by such a state of neglect. One just had to take a walk through the old Club Robinson to feel that was not without its attractions – although a few years ago these became of a rather macabre nature.

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Club Robinson in 1979 (Portcard)/ South facade in 2010 (Photo: Marco Torres)/ Sport facilities (Photo: Kelosa – CC BY 2.0)

All this seems to describe a depressed area. However, in the last three or four years a great number of developments and projects are happening on the west coast and in Cala Vadella, indicating a change of dynamics and that the worst already happened. Even the Club Robinson seems to be undergoing changes, with new owners of the investor kind that probably will actively work on improving the situation of the old complex, as the holiday rental villas surrounding the club already experience good occupancy levels.

In fact, the place still maintains a beautiful landscape: a cove with a sandy beach, surrounded by rugged coastline topography, green forests and mountains. The neighborhood of Cala Vadella has never ceased to be welcoming; a friendly village with a quiet and homely atmosphere, like a kind of secluded retreat even in Ibiza’s busy summer months. The pace is almost purely residential, but it also offers the activities that many look for on the island: beach, diving, sea side restaurants and bars on the beach. The nightlife is very limited, but many choose to live Cala Vadella because of this tranquility.

Cala Vadella – Fotos: Kelosa | Ibiza Selected Properties. (CC BY 2.0)

Currently, property prices in Cala Vadella are cheaper than average in Ibiza. Attractive prices are attracting more investors and private buyers to the area. In many of these cases the investment is dedicated to the reform of houses, which plan to sell soon after to private buyers, which are also often intended for holiday rental. This is a phenomenon that has increased throughout Ibiza in the last decade: houses built in the 70s, 80s or 90s are transformed into modern versions, where sizes and design are often modified. For these cases, a good position of the house is considered, overlooking the sea or mountains, but this in Cala Vadella is relatively easy for its rugged topography and orientation to the sea. In most cases land in this area has a good or very good position in relation to the view.

Regarding the surroundings, if you continue along the coast south from Cala Vadella, less than 2 minutes away are Cala Carbo, Cala d’Hort and present at all times, the emblematic island of Es Vedra, natural park and consolidated point of interest. This is possibly the most photographed place in Ibiza for its spectacular scenery and natural beauty.

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Cala Vadella / Cala Tarida – Photos: © Kelosa | Ibiza Selected Properties

To the other direction, on the coast road north lies the prestigious urbanization Calo d’en Real, followed by Cala Moli and a group of houses on waterfront facing the sea, both very popular residence places for their 180º seaviews and sunsets. By leaving Cala Moli, next is Cala Tarida, the largest beach of the west coast and lately one of the epicenters of quality tourism on the island. Over the last few years, Cala Tarida has been developing towards high-end tourism, led by the Insotel Group, which has launched in the last years several five star hotels and resorts (‘Sensatori‘), significantly improving the reputation of the area and turning it into a landmark destination of luxury in Ibiza. Several first class restaurants on the beach, a beach club and, for the future, a project of a new urbanization of 50 luxury homes. Cala Codolar, which is practically the next stretch of coastline, is building another resort of luxury vacation villas called ‘7 Pines‘, followed by the famous spot Cala Conta where the construction of the eco-friendly 33 villas urbanization (The Calaconta Collection) is being completed, another high-end residential development on the west coast.

Residential and tourist spots on the west coast of Ibiza, like Cala Vadella, actually never lost its charm, despite an accelerated urban development in the past. Today, with increasingly stringent regulations on building permits, landscape conservation is ensured of an area that has the potential to become again a reference in Ibiza. Although we predict that this evolution will occur at a slower pace this time, but in turn based on a growth model certainly more substantial than the last.




Referencias: The Rise and Fall of Cala Vadella. [consulted 15/10/2016]

Andres Jaque Arquitectos. House In Never Never Land. [consulted 17/10/2016]

Jaime López-Chicheri. Turoperadores, OTA, Google y la desintermediación hotelera. [consultado 17/10/2016]

Its possible that the pictures and the content reaches us through different channels and is sometimes difficult to know the author or the original source of the content. Whenever possible we added the author. If you are the author of any content (image, video, photography, text, etc.) and do not appear properly credited, please contact us and we will name you as an author. If you show up in a picture and think it impugns the honor or privacy of someone we can tell us and it will be withdrawn.

Kelosa Blog editors are not responsible for the opinions or comments made by others, these being the sole responsibility of their authors. Although your comment immediately appears in Kelosa Blog we reserve the right to delete (in case of using swear words, insults or disrespect of any kind) and editing (to make it more readable) or undermines the integrity of the site.













Kelosa-Modern-Villa-minimalist-design-outside-4-2(1)Modern Villa in the Heart of Ibiza. A Balance between 3 Styles

Modern Villa in the Heart of Ibiza. A Balance between 3 Styles

Located between Santa Gertrudis and San Mateo, at Ibiza’s center and one of the most rural areas, is this modern villa with a unique design that stands out for its minimalism, elegance and expressive geometry. Although at first glance this modern home doesn’t seem to bear any resemblance, this work by Parisian architect Pascal Cheikh-Djavadi was built on a ruin of an ancient Ibizan finca and represents largely a reconstruction thereof, based on traditional elements such as construction plans, materials and distribution of the house.

© Kelosa | Ibiza Selected Properties

Previously this place had been a neglected plot, surrounded by unspoilt nature sprouting from old cultivation terraces, made of characteristic dry stone walls that held meadows covered with wildflowers and fruit trees. The appearance of abandonment of the ruin suggested a complete reconstruction, but both the architect and the owner were admirers of the principles of the vernacular architecture of Ibiza and chose to include fundamental aspects of the traditional rural house. This was probably done through a deconstruction of concepts at first, then to regroup the most basic and easy to combine with an essentialy contemporary style.

Characteristic elements of Ibizan architecture have been embraced in this building, such as keeping the rectangular plane of the main hall, a south facing main entrance, juniper beams on some of the ceilings and fewer windows than what is usual in modern homes. The minimalist design and the large size of the rooms does not seem to bear any relation to the traditional house of Ibiza, but by adopting some fundamental aspects of it, apparently hidden, one is able to perceive a similar sensation. In fact, apart from its cubic forms, these two architectural disciplines share several fundamental similarities, which makes them relatively easy to combine and newer parts of the structure fit smoothly with the old parts.

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© Kelosa | Ibiza Selected Properties

With the construction, the height of the ceilings have doubled and the space of the rectangular main room expanded, while the bedrooms and other secondary rooms show smaller spaces. The typical height of 3.5 meters of the Ibizan finca has increased to about 7 meters high in the large living room with kitchen, combining a strictly quadrangular structure of the exterior with a vaulted ceiling that extends throughout the interior roof. These elegant curves are surprising to fit perfectly with the rest of the design, which by its minimalist nature tends not to show this kind of silhouettes, since seeking the purity of form and space, leaving aside any ornamentation, minimalism architecture tends to be elementally rectilinear. This vaulted ceiling also seems to add a touch of softness which often lack of the minimalist interiors.

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© Kelosa | Ibiza Selected Properties

The interior of the house combines simplicity and personality in a balanced manner, where a fresh and cozy sensation convey simultaneously. In the multipurpose living room a series of consecutive vertical windows, together with whitewashed walls and polished concrete floors, cause an attractive play of light and shade. In the living room and master bedroom there are discrete fireplaces found in the walls without any finishing. The furniture is carefully chosen and there is a neutral colour palette with touches of selected colours that blend with the overall concept. The furnishings and interior design as a whole shows a significant influence of Japanese Zen design, with elements such as tatami beds and low cut furniture, indirect lighting and paper lamps, large passing areas, clear main walls, absolute order and minimum presence of accessories.

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© Kelosa | Ibiza Selected Properties

Among the furniture and accessories there are many iconic objects like the Eames Lounge Chair and Rar Armchair by Charles & Ray Eames, the DS-600 sofa by Ueli Berger & E. Peduzzi Riva, the Butterfly Chair by Jorge Ferrari-Hardoy, the Bertoia Side Chair by Harry Bertoia, the System 1-2-3 chairs by Verner Panton and lamps as the One-Arm Floor Lamp by Serge Mouille or the ‘Pipistrello’ Table Lamp by Martinelli Luce.

The master bedroom is also a pretty unique space, where in front of the bed there is a bookshelf that raises to the ceiling and a protruding window on the left. This bulging window seems to feature a large eye that covers the landscape from the inside, while the window frames are deep enough to provide seating for several people, like a small room that connects the home interior with the outside natural environment. The protruding window represents a transitional space that offers direct views of the colorful countryside and brings character to the house in general.

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© Kelosa | Ibiza Selected Properties

Regarding the outside of the house, a pure minimalist design and simple geometry is shown, with rigorous simple lines, functionality, spatiality and a clear tendency to reduce to essentials. The rectangle shape is repeated in various scales, like the plans of the modules of the house, the windows and doors, fireplaces or the swimming pool. Being surrounded by wild countryside, in a first moment the house has a impactful effect on the observer; however, knowing the background with which the architect designed the house, the determination with which he has worked starts to make a lot of sense.

The personal style of Pascal Cheikh-Djavadi is difficult to define, since in what refers to design his works differ considerably with one another, but they always show character and stand out for their audacity. Its possible to say that his style, minimalist in essence, can adapt very well to other architectures or influences. Cheikh-Djavadi also demonstrates a rigorous attention to detail and is acutely aware of the location and dimensions of his works, aspects that affect such important elements as light and the building’s bioclimatic.

© Kelosa | Ibiza Selected Properties

Through the conservation of the axis of the entrance of the old building and by expanding the living area, with the addition of two new cubic volumes on both sides, it becomes clear that a balance has been achieved between the traditional architecture of Ibiza and creating minimalist spaces. Taking into account aspects such as quality of life and modern comfort, this house has provided improved habitability and turns out to be more homely with respect to any of the two architectural disciplines that have been combined. We can say that this villa, regardless of any architectural taste, is one of the best designed contemporary homes with character, respect and attention to detail that currently exist in Ibiza.

At the moment, at Kelosa we have this fabulous villa for sale. To access the details you can click here







References / Quotes:

Architect Pascal DJAVADI. Atelier Arcos Architecture. [consulted 25/7/2016]

Davies, L. Villa in Ibiza – Pascal Cheikh Djavadi. An Urban Village. [consulted 25/7/2016]

Mi Casa. Vivienda en Ibiza. [consulted 27/7/2016]

Eeman, V. Ibiza à l’heure italienne. Villas Magazine [consulted 27/7/2016]

Côté Maison. Le retour de la petite maison sur la colline. [consulted 27/7/2016]

Grimshaw, C. Ibiza Uncovered. The Guardian [online] [consulted 25/7/2016] Decoración Zen. [consulted 1/8/2016]

LLI Design. A Guide to Iconic Furniture. [consulted 1/8/2016]


It is possible that the pictures and the content reaches us through different channels and is sometimes difficult to know the author or the original source of the content. Whenever possible we added the author. If you are the author of any content (image, video, photography, text, etc.) and do not appear properly credited, please contact us and we will name you as an author. If you show up in a picture and think it impugns the honor or privacy of someone we can tell us and it will be withdrawn.

Kelosa Blog editors are not responsible for the opinions or comments made by others, these being the sole responsibility of their authors. Although your comment immediately appears in Kelosa Blog we reserve the right to delete (in case of using swear words, insults or disrespect of any kind) and editing (to make it more readable) or undermines the integrity of the site

Title- Ibizan Traditional FincaThe Ibizan Finca. A Guide to the Traditional Home of Ibiza

The Ibizan Finca. A Guide to the Traditional Home of Ibiza

The traditional rural house of Ibiza, also known as Ibizan finca, has been an object of study and fascination by many important people of several fields over time. What these first visitors found was an architecture that had hardly changed over the centuries, dated back to ancient origins. This was mainly because Ibiza, during most of its history, was a culturally and economically isolated society that had to use local resources and knowledge, the only ones available. The method of construction of this house came from a popular wisdom that was transmitted from generation to generation, pursuing subsistence and practicality. It was this practicality, together with simplicity, the functionality of each element and its integration into the landscape, which inspired about this unique archaic architecture and attracted the first visitors to this ‘remote island’ in the 1930s.

Among the architects who were drawn by the Ibizan farm house are Germán Rodríguez Arias or Josep Lluis Sert, from the GATCPAC group, or Erwin Broner, from the Bauhaus school. It also attracted well-known characters from other fields such as the Dadaist Raoul Hausmann, artist and photographer, who made a lot of photographs of these constructions, or the philosopher Walter Benjamin, writer and literary critic, who delved into his aesthetic theory attracted by the austerity and beauty of the Ibizan finca. Some of them spreaded this archaic architecture style in international exhibitions and, although the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) and the arrival of fascism interrupt the process, years later more scholars and artists continuously revisited and settled in Ibiza, motivated by this same fascination.

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© Kelosa | Ibiza Selected Properties

The Ibizan country house is defined by a building type of thick walls, composed of quadrangular modules and horizontal ceilings supported by wooden beams. It is a simple and sober architecture, which begins adding independent cubic modules that are articulated about a transverse rectangular space at the entrance, the main hall or porxo; each module has its own function and animal corrals are always separated from the main body. The whole set shows a fully functional home, often entirely absent of decorative elements, growing in relation to the needs of expanding the family or labour of the lands. It is also a continuously growing home, that at all stages keeps the appearance of a finished building.

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Left to right: 1) Can Toni Martina, in St. Carles de Peralta. 2) Can Vicent Prats, in St. Antoni de Portmany. 3+4) General trend of enlargement

No Ibizan finca is ever the same as the other, what is common among houses prior to the industrial era, but all fincas have certain features in common that define them as an own architecture style. These general features of the original finca are:

Materials. Built by the farmer, it is essentially made of materials found in the same place: dry stone, juniper beams for the roof, sand, clay and marine plants.

Implantation. The house is ideally located on a high point of the side of a hill with rocks as natural foundation, taking advantage of landscape features and slope without overflowing on ground favorable to the cultivation.

Orientation. The entrance is almost always facing south, leaving behind the mountain, protected from the north winds and thus continuously receiving sunlight.

Absence of ornaments. It is shown as a primarily austere, practical and functional home, surrounded by fields and fully adapted to the needs of the time in which it was built. Subsequently, decorative elements would arrive such as arches and balustrades of carved wooden forms, but these were relatively discrete and concentrated on the main facade.

Prominence of the facades. The treatment of the facades reveals a clear hierarchy between the main facade, bleached, and the other facades, simply plastered or exposed stone walls. Similarly, the few decorative elements that can be found in the original finca are concentrated on the main facade.

The walls are wide, almost one meter, and consist of dry stone and mortar. Most walls are whitewashed in both homes and churches, although sometimes presented showing bare stone. The walls that enclose the building may have a form of steep walls (inclination and thicker at the bottom part) to strengthen the structure and the defensive function.

The windows are small and formerly had no glass, narrower on the outside than on the inside, thus emulating a fortress. Continuous attacks and plunders of vandals and pirates over centuries forced the homes to have this double function. Another purpose of the small windows was to protect the inside from the sun in summer, contributing to housing

The roofs are flat and originally made up of three layers: juniper wood, ash and marine plants and a layer of clay, which acted as insulation and impermeable. On rooftops different fruits of the field were sunned and serve to collect rainwater that is channeled through a cistern.

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© Kelosa | Ibiza Selected Properties

The Ibizan finca is an consecution of adjoined and stacked cubic modules, shown as a construction of simple lines, flatness, enclosure, proportionality and human measures. Traditional Ibizan architecture finds its expression in the family house that is found in the rural environment of the island and, developing a specific typology, adapts both the terrain and the needs of its inhabitants.

The original distribution of these houses is a door that leads the main room (the porxo), public space of the house, the place of important meetings and transition between the outside and the private areas. The porxo is the acess to all the other rooms, generally the kitchen and two areas that originally served as both bedroom and storage. The kitchen, equal to or larger than the porxo, in ancient times also served to shield from the cold, around a bonfire on the floor, and as an occasional bedroom during winters. The front of the house was closed by a low wall, which inside multitude of herbs and a small orchard were kept protected from livestock. Separated from the main house were the pens that housed the animals. Surrounding to these were the fields, arranged in terraces of stone wall when they had to take advantage of the abundant slopes that the island has. Around some fincas there were also other architectural elements, such as a cart garage, oil mills, stables, lime kilns, the threshing floor or a coal deposit.

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Ibizan Finca Distribution / Closed courtyard

In the original interiors of the Ibizan finca, of which today only memories and some photographs remain, is the same strict functionality and austerity as marked by the outside of the building. Most of the rooms do not have a defined function, such as the large porxo or the kitchen, that have multiple uses. The scarce furniture and the absence of decorative elements in every room of the house expresses a singular simplicity, a purely utilitarian sense that makes the architectural elements acquire a greater role. The main source of incoming light is in the porxo, but it doesn’t usually have more openings than the entrance door and, because of the small windows, this main room shows the same kind of gloom as found in temples.

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© Kelosa | Ibiza Selected Properties

Especially the interiors, but also most of the outside of the Ibizan finca show a clear relationship with the Arab houses in rural areas, unlike the houses of Mallorca and Menorca, which rather resemble Catalan or Castilian country houses. Homes in Tunisia and Algeria are very similar to the Ibizan finca, as both show the same economy of means, adaptation to the environment, horizontality and composition of modules. In fact, his construction method is also found from the Himalayas through Yemen and the Middle East, to the south of the Atlas, and fits into a long tradition dating back to the Neolithic era. Several studies suggest that it develops in Phoenicia and Babylon, and later extends to the southern coast of the Mediterranean basin.

Original finca ibicenca black white old architecture (3)

© Kelosa | Ibiza Selected Properties

Islands in the island.

Since ancient times, the people of Ibiza break with the two types of typical settlements of any other Mediterranean enclave: communities that prioritized defensive conditions by focusing on peninsulas or hills, and those that prevailed trade positioning its populations near the sea. Instead, cottages in Ibiza had a settlement scattered throughout the territory of the island and its distribution depended on the agricultural qualities (arable, fertile soil), being the distances between them irrelevant. This circumstances turned them into a kind of islands in the island.

The consequence of this unusual isolation was that these houses had to be self-sufficient from the outset and, at the same time, include elements that offered defense and shelter, such as thick walls or the praedial towers. Even the churches, which were conceived as fortresses and shelters inviting houses to group around it, failed to materialize real villages until recent times and this occured only partially, as evidenced by the dispersion of rural households that until nowadays are rarely grouped together.

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© Kelosa | Ibiza Selected Properties

The dispersion of the habitat in Ibiza has been a constant since the Punic (Phoenician-Carthaginian) colonization. Throughout most of its history, the most profitable was to place the houses on the land they cultivated because arable soils were excessively separated. Even the Catalan conquest (1235) did not mean any change of habitat or cultivation method as they had for centuries with the Arab occupation.

Factors such as the isolation of the peasant houses, the low yields of their farms or the frequent pirate attacks led them not to rely on products and manufactured goods other than the basic, found nearby, pushing them to a near autarky situation. Therefore, homes and tools were made with the materials at hand, which explains the absence of building materials such as bricks or tiles. This dependency of the environment and the autarky of the peasant production unit are circumstances that explain the archaism of the Ibizan architecture.

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© Kelosa | Ibiza Selected Properties

From these unfavorable circumstances and the farmers’ economic situation, close to subsistence for most of its history, adaptations took place in these constructions that surprise nowadays, considering it a model of sustainable and bioclimatic architecture. In this way, a climate of hot summers, little rain and wet winters and a mountainous landscape of scarce available land for cultivation, bring up the following adaptations to the buildings:

1. Environmental use and sustainability

Using the terrain rocks as natural foundation, the estate is built using materials found on the spot, without manufacturing processes rather than the mixture of mortar or lime kilns. In addition, the finca is ideally located on the slope of a hill, leaving behind the mountain, on a high surface with a slight inclination; which serves to prevent humidity and torrential rain, while being protected from the northern winds. The flat roofs are also used to collect rainwater that is channeled through a cistern for later consumption.

2. Bioclimatic

The thick walls and small windows insulate the outside temperature to keep the interior cool during the summer and warm in the winter, adapting the house to the climate of each cycle. The absence of glazing in the original fincas ensured the necessary ventilation for a perspiration of walls and roofs. The south-facing facades capture most of the sunlight in winter and more shade in the summer, while avoiding the winter winds from the north and allowing the entry of fresh winds in summer. Even the white of the walls had a role, by reflecting sunlight and prevent overheating of the building in summer.

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© Kelosa | Ibiza Selected Properties

As could not be otherwise, the most interested in studying the Ibizan rural house were the avant-garde architects. In the 1930s it was a time of searching for new answers outside of classicism, towards new forms: rationalism, the Bauhaus and its heirs, Broner, Le Corbusier, the Group of Catalan Architects and Technicians for the Progress of Contemporary Architecture (GATCPAC), among others, found in Ibiza an architecture strongly shaped by climate, materials available and practically devoid of the influences of artistic or architectural styles from any given time, and the result of a direct contact between human being and the environment in which it developed its activity. In fact, the cubic simplicity of this ancient house was somehow a confirmation for those avant-gardist that the idea by them promoted was somehow on the right track, as it came countersigned by centuries of anonymous tradition developed on a small island, cradle of cultures.

The architects of the 30s described and embraced many elements of the traditional house, but did not have much interest in expanding their study into deeper topics like the historical origins of this architecture. A more extensive investigation would not appear until two or three decades later, and in particular two names are worth mentioning, that practically devoted their lives to studying this archaic architecture: the Canadian Rolph Blakstad, which is responsible for the first historical-typological study of the Ibizan houses, developing an important thesis about its origins, and later founded a new architectural style, modern but heavily influenced by the original finca; and the Belgian architect Philippe Rotthier, that apart from his extensive research on these buildings, carried out numerous rehabilitations of fincas and designed new buildings, rigorously faithful to the original old farms.

(CC) Ibiza_Balàfia 004, by Nicolas G. Mertens. Creative Commons License: CC BY-SA 4.0 (Changes made. Link to original)

Comparative studies such as Blakstads and Rotthiers, published in books and articles, saw the ancient Phoenicians territories and their areas of influence in the Middle East, Mesopotamia and Egypt, the cultures that imported the construction method to Ibiza, dating its origin in the Neolithic. They also considered the Ibizan finca as the most faithful legacy of the ancient Punic houses and palaces that exists in the present day.

Through a comparison of plans and drawings of these publications shows the surprising number of constructive coincidences between the ancient architectures of Phoenicia, Mesopotamia and Egypt and the simple rural house of Ibiza. This theory is the most convincing to the majority, but it also encounters detractors within the research community. In fact, this is a topic that deserves an article by itself.

© Kelosa | Ibiza Selected Properties

Today the new fincas are built using other materials and have considerable differences in form and composition with regard to the original fincas. To adapt them to modern requirements, the new built fincas are differentiated by an expansion of virtually all spaces and rooms, creating an increase of incoming light and higher ceilings, some rooms merge into others and there is usualy a higher frequency of decorative elements, such as sloping walls, pergolas or pavilions, among others. These are the most common additions arising from new trends and possibilities offered by technological advances; however, in its essence, these houses bear a strong resemblance to the old fincas, as the basic geometry of its forms, the predominant white or the thick walls. The fundamental similarities that the Ibizan finca shares with minimalism also explain the tendency to combine these two styles.

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© Kelosa | Ibiza Selected Properties

The scarcity of forms and decorative elements shown by the ancient fincas is a phenomenon that was conditioned by the precariousness and the necessary practicality, revealing that these homes were not meant to be seen, but to be lived. Its interesting how it is precisely this aspect that makes this style so popular nowadays, but mainly by the visual property of the design and less for the practicality for which it was conceived, although in many cases it remains practical.

However, until very recently the Ibizan rural house seemed to be detached from the process of transformation of history and was considered an archetype of popular architecture. Possibly it constitutes the last example of an age-old wisdom and an archaic form of life. Traditional Ibizan constructions were built without plans or specialization, but integrated into the same peer culture, it preserves the memory, the technique and the identity of a community.









Rotthier, P. and Gobert, P. (2003). Treinta años en Ibiza, 1973-2003. [Sant Josep]: TEHP.

White, C. and Blakstad, S. (2012). Ibiza blakstad houses. Barcelona, Spain: Loft.

Ferrer Abarzuza, A. (1974). La casa campesina de Ibiza. Madrid: Narria. [consultado 10 de abril 2016] (2013). La casa ibicenca. Un ejemplo de arquitectura sostenible. [consultado 18 de abril 2016]

Mestre, B. y Torres, E. (1971). Guía de Arquitectura de Ibiza y Formentera, islas Pitiusas. Cuadernos de Arquitectura y Urbanismo. [consultado 20 de abril 2016]

González, M. (2015). El interior de la casa payesa. [online] [consultado 5 mayo 2016] (2009). Ibiza: edificios singulares. Institut Balear de Turisme. [consultado 5 mayo 2016]

Sharq, B. (2012). Las Casas Payesas, un camino a seguir. BK Rentacar. [consultado 10 de mayo 2016]

Kam, M. (2014). Edificación. Tipos de paredes y muros. [consultado 10 de mayo 2016]

Naya, C. (2016). Innistre. 1st ed. [ebook] Barcelona, pp.4-15. [consultado 12 mayo 2016]



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Calo d'en RealThe Urbanisation Caló d’en Real. A Work by André Jacqmain in Ibiza

The Urbanisation Caló d’en Real. A Work by André Jacqmain in Ibiza

Caló d’en Real is located in the municipality of San José de la Talaia, southwest of Ibiza, between Cala Moli and Cala Vedella. The complex was founded in 1974 as a project among several Belgian friends, who bought the land that formed the plateau and assigned the design to architect André Jacqmain. The initial philosophy of Caló d’en Real was to be a community of family and friends, which meant for these first residents that the design of all homes had to be conceived by the same architect, thus establishing a unique style.

Before Caló d’en Real, the Belgian architect had already authored major projects between 1960 and 1970. Thanks to this, despite being usual that the client had the final say in approving a project, Jacqmain was taken much into consideration and therefore allowed to express and develop his ideas. This was not in vain and the architect finished granting this development with its own character, a unique concept in Ibiza and probably in the world.

A good example of the works at the time were backing the name of André Jacqmain is the famous Foncolin (1955), one of the first structures with exposed frames and a supporting facade composed of prefabricated concrete elements. Considered by many one of his masterpieces, being the result of a successful collaboration with the designer and interiorist Jules Wabbes. In this work architecture and design share the aspiration of innovation and quality. Today it is considered a formal manifesto of the technical architecture of the 50s, where cutting-edge technologies were accompanied by a strong quality and sophistication of materials such as precast concrete or facades adorned with oak and bronze railings.

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The Foncolin, Brussels

André Jacqmain (Brussels, 1921-2014) graduated at the Academy of Fine Arts of Belgium in 1944, where he followed the teachings of the great architect Henri Lacoste and from whom he inherited the boldness of the architectural gesture. The first phase of his career is dedicated to single-family homes, an area in which he reveals as the creator of some of the most original forms of his generation. Against the functionalist discourse that dominated at that time teaching and profession, Jacqmains work is distinguished by an aesthetic approach recognized by the execution and the high quality of the details.

In 1967 he founded the Atelier d’Architecture de Genval, whose freedom of conception will inevitably be a benchmark for generations of young architects. The Atelier Genval was also notable for having a philosophy of collaborative work, both within the team and with other firms and fields related to architecture; a reflection of Jacqmain himself and by these means delivered many buildings, representative of postmodernism in the 1980s and 1990s.

Around 1974 Jacqmain projected Caló d’en Real in Ibiza, where he also designed most of the houses. The residential complex consists of about 120 single-family homes, most situated on terrain inclination and directed towards west. Caló d’en Real is situated on a 18,000 m2 plateau, surrounded by sea and with a dominant vegetation of junipers, currently classified as green area. One can say that this plateau is a strategic location, dominated by the sea and with a great prominence of the sunsets, an ideal place for an imaginative, innovative and daring architecture, such as the Brussels architects.


Caló d’en Real

Most of the buildings are located in first and second line to the sea, with a design that is characterized by the breakdown of the volumes and the slight play of colours and shadows. These homes demonstrate a visual control to the sea and the advantage of outdoor spaces, where arcades and pillars are used to support sails that create the shades.

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© Kelosa | Ibiza Selected Properties

The interiors are simple, with spaces that demonstrate minimalism and cubism alike, a non-purist functionalism looking towards aesthetics. These types of spaces are considered ideal to combine different styles, volumes and abundance of decorative elements. Similarly, these type of interiors are versatile and allow a predominantly or more discreet personal decoration, highlighting the original architectural elements. They are dominated by large, airy spaces and access rooms, while a smaller area is granted to the bedrooms; although there are considerable variations in some houses, that depended on behalf of each client.

© Kelosa | Ibiza Selected Properties

André Jacqmain has put all his inventiveness to the use of light, thanks to his characteristic attention to detail and to the sites specific conditions. The front of the house usually opens to a large terrace facing the extensive sea views and sunsets. Some properties have the most spectacular location, bordering the cliff with a path leading a few meters from the house to the rocks by the sea.

Several architectural elements repeated in all buildings provide Caló d’en Real with an image and character. The Belgian architect’s imagination is admirable, noting the successful occupation of space and the harmonious relationship between interior and exterior. Some larger homes have a distribution alternating exterior and interior spaces, usually between living spaces and bedrooms, which are connected through corridors or rear terraces, sheltered from the wind.

© Kelosa | Ibiza Selected Properties

We can also see an increase in depth in perspective, with arches that are isolated from the established plans and create a kind of double facade over the buildings structure. The arches and columns that separate the first facade in turn act as a decorative element and further enhance the play of light and shadow.

From a formal point of view the design could be defined as the exploration of a modern version of the Kasbah, the citadel of Algiers and one of the great references of the concept of ‘Mediterranean architecture’. The homes are defined by complex volumes, with a cubist style that in some point reminds of the Bauhaus discipline. However, the original colors of these houses reveal an African architecture style, which in turn represent one of the origins of cubism. It has also received somewhat more subjective descriptions, defined in some articles as “a novel without a definite end”, “a long continuous history, designed to represent each day a different thread” or as “an organic whole dedicated to beauty”.

© Kelosa | Ibiza Selected Properties

An interesting combination of concepts and, at the same time, although in all homes a series of characteristic architectural elements are repeated, designs experience some variations both in distribution and in style. Jacqmain demonstrates pragmatism at adapting the request of each client with the overall style of the whole, as these particular desires, size and position of each house can vary considerably.

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© Kelosa | Ibiza Selected Properties

Having been a residential complex of Belgian family and friends for the first two decades, over time the second property sales has turned Caló d’en Real in a more cosmopolitan community. In addition to Belgians, today we can find, among others, German, Italian, Swiss, French and American residents, and its considered one of the most exclusive neighborhoods of Ibiza.

The work of André Jacqmain covers at least 60 years, through different periods and various streams. In Belgium he has been one of the representative architects of the innovative architecture of the second half of the twentieth century; apart from the Foncolin, he is recognized by works like the Urvati house, buildings at the universities of Liege and Leuven, the Belgian Pavilion at the Expo’70 in Osaka and, later, the headquarters of the European Parliament in Brussels, in collaboration with other architects.

Jacqmain explored the limits of modernism and has also been a honest and critic voice when, for example, he stated that technological change led to a depletion of the imagination, that the buildings ended up being the same in all places, and when he expressed concern that current architects didn’t know how to draw. Jacqmain style was defined by his deep faith in imagination, a gift that was attributed to him since childhood, and today he is considered an architect who has marked an era.




Enciclopèdia d’Eivissa i Formentera. Entrada: Jacqmain, André. Enciclopèdia del Consell d’Eivissa [en linea]. Vol. XI (2012). [fecha de consulta: 8 de febrero de 2016]

Barluenga Badiola, Gonzalo (2013). Tema 4: Fachadas. Introducción a la construcción. Curso 2013-2014. Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura. Universidad de Alcalá: Madrid. [fecha de consulta: 10 de febrero de 2016]

Duplat, Guy (2004). L’imaginaire d’André Jacqmain. Journal La Libre. LaLibre: Bruxelles. [fecha de consulta: 10 de febrero de 2016]

Calo d’en Real Owners Community Website. About Calo d’en Real. [fecha de consulta: 10 de febrero de 2016]

Kunstbus. André Jacqmain. [fecha de consulta: 10 de febrero de 2016]


It is possible that the pictures and the content reaches us through different channels and is sometimes difficult to know the author or the original source of the content. Whenever possible we added the author. If you are the author of any content (image, video, photography, text, etc.) and do not appear properly credited, please contact us and we will name you as an author. If you show up in a picture and think it impugns the honor or privacy of someone we can tell us and it will be withdrawn.

Kelosa Blog editors are not responsible for the opinions or comments made by others, these being the sole responsibility of their authors. Although your comment immediately appears in Kelosa Blog we reserve the right to delete (in case of using swear words, insults or disrespect of any kind) and editing (to make it more readable) or undermines the integrity of the site.


Kelosa_ibiza_Large_finca_estate_on_a_hilltop-1Large Hilltop Finca Estate in Ibiza. A Spectacular Place

Large Hilltop Finca Estate in Ibiza. A Spectacular Place

Between the northwest mountains of Ibiza, there is a stately house on top of a hill in the middle of one of the most remote and peaceful places on the island. This unique property, surrounded by an almost untouched nature, offers panoramic views in all directions extending through the mountains to the sea.

To reach the property there is a drive along an over two kilometers long country road, which leads to the country estate through the mountainous landscape and shows along most of its route the place’s impressive panoramic views. Arriving at destination, a winding asphalt access rises the 265 meters high private hill and leads us to the house, again showing spectacular views.

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© Kelosa | Selected Properties

Once reaching the vicinity of the house, the garden is presented as one of the remarkable aspects of this property, apart from its already existing natural landscape value. The garden consists mainly of a large number of hundred and thousand year old olive trees, of four different varieties, brought here from as far as Portugal and southern Spain. Its owner told us that he himself chose each of these trees and that transportation to this place was a real odyssey. He also tells us that at first, because of the long journey and Ibiza’s humid climate, olive trees needed some time to adapt to the new floor. Today the majestic presence of these ancient olive trees can be equated to natural monuments, due to its size, its age and the artistic beauty of its organic forms.

© Kelosa | Selected Properties

Besides the olive trees, which actually makes the garden a place so spectacular is the way in which it was conceived. Ancient Terraces have been raised and filled to create platforms in a linear point with the house. The house’s surroundings are literally a lookout, as a kind of platform that rises above the rest of the landscape, which in turn creates a panoramic background in contrast to the flat and lawn covered ground. The natural environment of the house is exuberant in terms of terrain and vegetation, with views that extend far beyond their own 6 hectares of land.

© Kelosa | Selected Properties

The gardens merge with the hill and, at the same time, the hill is conceived as a garden. The ancient stone walls extend from the vicinity of the house to the bottom of the hill, forming the characteristic banks of terraces. Both the planted as the previously existing vegetation, are native or of Mediterranean traits and therefore perfectly adapted to this environment.

In 2010 there was a major fire in the whole area, which left the pine forest that covered most of the hills burnt. However, in only a few years the landscape of ashes has become into a fresh growth of grass, herb and shrub vegetation, featuring a colorful picturesque terrain.

© Kelosa | Selected Properties

Previously at this site there was a 200 years old finca built literally on top of the hill. Thanks to this rarity, it was possible to make a recovery and expansion project in a place like this, as in Ibiza the highest points of hills and mountains are sites banned for construction for several decades already, since it involves a greater visual impact. In fact, today the whole area is protected by a combination of forest and rustic land, grades where no new buildings or extensions to existing structures are allowed.

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© Kelosa | Selected Properties

This elegant house, conceived as a detached manor house, combines the overall rustical with spacious sizes and subtle modern elements. The architecture respects the fundamental lines marked by the old Ibizan finca that existed previously. In fact, you can still see the original appearance of this ancientfinca on the west facade, since virtually intact, it has become part of the main house. Thanks to this architectural heritage, the residence benefits from the thermal efficiency of the Ibizan fincas, which resides on the thick walls that surround it.

The house consists of large main spaces and all the rooms are connected inside the same building. In the living room, dining room, kitchen and master bedroom outdoor light inputs have been increased thanks to large windows and skylights in the high ceilings. However, the other 4 bedrooms are of a more traditional style, same as the original Ibizan finca, with small windows, ceilings with juniper beams and antique wood furniture. These 4 bedrooms have a different atmosphere, less bright, but not any less casy for that reason. It is also a rustic and cozy atmosphere that fireplaces are found in almost every room of the house: in the living room, the kitchen, the dining room and 3 more bedrooms.

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© Kelosa | Selected Properties

At the rear of the house, bordering the kitchen and the living room, there is a courtyard surrounded by arches with thick glass windows in the arches that protect it from the winds. This outdoor patio still is to be completely finished, with the elements that the new owner decide; for example, choosing a floor, some outdoor furniture and some more plants could convert this courtyard into a beautiful winter terrace sheltered from the frequent winds.

The volumes of the house are the result of successive enlargements where each was “supported” by the previous one. The result of this kind of growth, same as the traditional buildings, is a structure perfectly integrated in the site.

All in all, a property like this in Ibiza is a truly unique object, not just for being on top of a hill with its 360° views, but also by the natural area that surrounds it and the elegant style of this modern Ibizan finca. As if that weren’t enough, during the summer months sunsets over the sea and sunrises on the other horizon make this site an even more delightful. This is a place that conveys a sense of a certain magic, where one breathes tranquility out of the total silence and the beautiful views of this place.









FERRER ABARZUZA, A. (1974). «La casa campesina de Ibiza». Madrid: Narria.

Tectónica Blog. Casa Meztitla (7 de enero de 2016). [fecha de consulta: 15 de enero de 2016]

Dezeen Magazine. HLM House by Rafael Lorentz is a hilltop […] (9 July 2015). [fecha de consulta: 18 de enero de 2016]

It is possible that the pictures and the content reaches us through different channels and is sometimes difficult to know the author or the original source of the content. Whenever possible we added the author. If you are the author of any content (image, video, photography, text, etc.) and do not appear properly credited, please contact us and we will name you as an author. If you show up in a picture and think it impugns the honor or privacy of someone we can tell us and it will be withdrawn.

Kelosa Blog editors are not responsible for the opinions or comments made by others, these being the sole responsibility of their authors. Although your comment immediately appears in Kelosa Blog we reserve the right to delete (in case of using swear words, insults or disrespect of any kind) and editing (to make it more readable) or undermines the integrity of the site.










Kelosa-01-Ibiza-Santa-Eulalia-Charming-reformed-finca–near-Morna-ValleyModern Finca Can Basso. Respect, Creativity & Detail

Modern Finca Can Basso. Respect, Creativity & Detail

At a green hillside and facing the tranquility of the valley, we find a real ancient Ibizan finca with the foundations of an original architecture, enhanced by a contemporary gesture, just enough to preserve the original spirit and adapting it to modern needs and style. Among rigorous lines and attention to detail, perfect simplicity contrasts in a visual game with creativity.

Kelosa Ibiza. Modern finca field sorroundings rural view© Francis Dimmers / Photo: Greg Jouslin

Can Basso is a country house more than 300 years old, which reform in 2010 was the work of Francis Dimmers and Ibizan architect Angela Molina. The project was based on preserving the original features of the traditional Ibizan rural house and it has had much sense to have proceeded in this way:

Much of the water consumed in the home is due to the conservation of the different storage modules, such as the traditional architectural feature of collecting rain water: the water cistern and the outdoor aljibe. The Façade and the front door are facing south to north, in this way cross ventilation cools the house just as a natural air conditioning. This adds up to the characteristic thick walls of the Ibizan finca that are very effective at isolating the summer heat and the cold in winter. This is an ancient architectural method that has proven more effective in thermic insulation than many of the modern features, in addition to savings in power consumption.

Kelosa-05-Ibiza-Santa-Eulalia-Charming-reformed-finca–near-Morna-Valley© Francis Dimmers / Photo: Greg Jouslin

Roofs in Can Basso were rebuilt, former stables fully renovated and converted into living spaces. At first glance, it appears as a completely original finca, however, entering the rear terrace or the interior of the house a closer inspection allows us to realize that many of the walls are completely new, or that elements like the skylights, the lighting, the open kitchen and the furniture belong to an interior design with a modern character, carefully executed and with attention paid to every detail.

Paysannerie designKelosa Ibiza. Modern finca kitchen© Francis Dimmers / Photos: Greg Jouslin

Modern elements in Can Basso are subtly present, almost hidden in built-in wardrobes, the Bulthaup kitchen, Zanotta furniture, Agape baths or in the lighting by Ingo Maurer and Tom Dixon. These are some of the elements that contribute to the modern interior design. One thing is certain, the longer you stay in the property, the more you start to realize that this Ibizan finca ‘of the new era’ was a project carried out by perfectionists with a clear vocation.

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© Francis Dimmers / Photos: Greg Jouslin

The house has five double bedrooms and one single bedroom, all with their own bathrooms; there are also a traditional room used as a dining room, an office, a living room and a semi open kitchen, both with access to the front terrace and the swimming pool. The property has 392 m² (4220 ft²) of housing and a plot of 25.000 m² (269.098 ft²), from where you can watch the sunsets in the background of the picturesque Morna Valley.

kelosa modern finca pool area© Francis Dimmers / Photos: Greg Jouslin

The two bedrooms in separate units from the main house were ancient stables, now converted into bright and cosy spaces. Each has its own bathroom, with prevailing decorative elements that remind of what it was before. The other two bedrooms in the main house at first glance seem completely new, but the bathrooms with natural stone walls make them harmonise again with the overall style of Can Basso.

kelosa modern ibiza finca bedroom


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© Francis Dimmers / Photos: Greg Jouslin

We find noble and robust materials throughout the property, respecting local traditions and work processes. The ceilings of the house often show juniper trunks, characteristic feature of the traditional Ibizan finca. Windows and skylights that are placed along the country estate Can Basso play delicately with the natural light, thus correcting the main deficiency that these old buildings use to have: external light and the resulting sense of space. We can also observe that the traditional based style is perfectly complemented with modern decorative details, inspired by vintage, like the hanging lamps, the exposed bulbs or the industrial style sinks and bathtubs. The project represents a successful combination of extremes, between the old and traditional and the modern and innovative.

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© Francis Dimmers / Photos: Greg Jouslin

Can Basso is just minutes away from the center of Santa Eulalia and its beaches, but it feels like is being more secluded, as the surrounding countryside and neighboring mountain give the impression of the most isolated places on the island. This is an ideal place to experience a vacation surrounded by tranquility, nature and the beauty of experiencing first hand the heritage of Ibiza.

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© Francis Dimmers / Photos: Greg Jouslin

The garden surrounding the finca is another point to consider. As could not be otherwise, it is a combination of native and fruit trees characteristic to the island. The Garden vegetation found in Can Basso is the same of an Ibizan rural house, as if it was a crop field but somewhat more ‘aesthetic’ and well mantained. The pool, which at times can seem a natural pond, is enclosed by a tidy and cared lawn and the concrete framing minimalist lines and the colorful Ibizan countryside of predominantly red soil. From the pool area and the terraces we can see the unspoiled rural Ibiza and enjoy the serenity of its atmosphere, whilst all design in this house seems to have been conceived in favor of a harmony of the place.

Kelosa-02-Ibiza-Santa-Eulalia-Charming-reformed-finca–near-Morna-ValleyKelosa-04-Ibiza-Santa-Eulalia-Charming-reformed-finca–near-Morna-ValleyKelosa Ibiza. Modern finca at night pool© Francis Dimmers / Photos: Greg Jouslin

There are only few projects on the island that have achieved this, not only by the respect which the house was reformed with, but also by the orientation of their living spaces and the way they enlightened the potential of the environment. In the coming years we will see if Can Basso sets a precedent for a new trend in Ibiza, but we should have no doubt there are many options for that to happen.

If you want to know more about the sale of this property, you can visit our website for more information: Can Basso. Ibiza modern finca for sale






CORTELLARO, Steffano. La construcción del territorio de Ibiza: urbanismo, paisaje, arquitectura. Junio de 2013 [fecha de consulta: 25 de noviembre de 2015]

El Tránsito Inicial. Finca Can Basso, el verano en Ibiza (2015). [fecha de consulta: 27 de noviembre de 2015]

Les Voyages d’Ingrid. Ibiza alternatif (2014). [fecha de consulta: 5 de diciembre de 2015]

El Blog de Erik. Can Bassó: la reforma vital de una masía centenaria en Ibiza (2015). [fecha de consulta: 5 de diciembre de 2015]

It is possible that the pictures and the content reaches us through different channels and is sometimes difficult to know the author or the original source of the content. Whenever possible we added the author. If you are the author of any content (image, video, photography, text, etc.) and do not appear properly credited, please contact us and we will name you as an author. If you show up in a picture and think it impugns the honor or privacy of someone we can tell us and it will be withdrawn.

Kelosa Blog editors are not responsible for the opinions or comments made by others, these being the sole responsibility of their authors. Although your comment immediately appears in Kelosa Blog we reserve the right to delete (in case of using swear words, insults or disrespect of any kind) and editing (to make it more readable) or undermines the integrity of the site.


Bruno ErpicumBruno Erpicum. Avant-garde Architecture in Ibiza

Bruno Erpicum. Avant-garde Architecture in Ibiza

Bruno ErpicumBruno Erpicum studied architecture at the ISASLB (Institute of Architecture Saint Luc Brussels) and in 2001 he created his current Atelier d’Architecture Bruno Erpicum & Partners. Erpicum has over 25 years of experience in architecture, during which he has won several awards including the Architectural BIFSA Awards (South Africa), the Eric Architectural LION Awards (UK), Prix de l’Urbanisme 2004 (Belgium), the BigMat International Architecture Prize (Luxembourg) and the International Space Design Awards Idea-Tops (China). Among its projects are mainly large residence villas, but also designs commercial buildings, museums, galleries and offices. His works can be found in many countries: Spain, Belgium, France, UK, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, Greece, Portugal, South Africa, Namibia, Switzerland, United States, Peru and in a number of several countries of the Caribbean.

villa ixos erpicum

© AABE -Atelier d’Architecture Bruno Erpicum & Partners / Photo: Jean-Luc Laloux

Bruno Erpicums architectural discipline is fundamentally minimalist and austere, although the size of space are usually considerably large. The particular style of Erpicum can receive many adjectives as personal interpretations may be varied. His own statements allows us to get closer to the objective reality represented by these works.

According to Erpicum, architecture should “disappear” and be as simple as possible to let the natural environment express itself and dominate [1]. The environmental context determines the essence of each project using materials found in the area and taking into account the conditions these materials are exposed to, their maintenance and installation conditions [2]. Marked by modesty and perfectly integrated into its natural environment, some works Erpicum are almost invisible in the landscape.

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© AABE -Atelier d’Architecture Bruno Erpicum & Partners / Photos: Jean-Luc Laloux

The environmental awareness is of first order. The buildings are established taking into account existing landscape elements. For example, the exteriors of houses near the sea hosts coast flora of the area, more adapted to the environment and reduce a possible visual impact. You can also say that the process and the design of his works are environmentally friendly, as it attempts to exploit the available resources of the land and avoid large transports.

                 © AABE -Atelier d’Architecture Bruno Erpicum & Partners

In the homes of the Belgian architect concrete dominates and technical skills are hidden in the building, inspiring serenity and silence. Erpicum explains, unlike what many think, concrete is a natural material composed of sand and gravel, that can withstand the power of the elements, maintaining its character [3].

A peculiarity of Erpicum is the use of architectural elements to hide the main overlooking views of the exterior at entering the house; according to Erpicum, “so that visitors discover the magic of the place as late as possible” [4] In addition, a house shouldn’t be oriented only to a single view, but be open to all horizons. Like, for example, a villa on the coast need rooms turning their back to the sea, in order to allow spaces that are more introverted and calm the view [5].

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© AABE -Atelier d’Architecture Bruno Erpicum & Partners

Erpicums architecture can also be considered as a meticulous cubist style, meaning that nothing that is seen in his works is there just because and many elements are due to an intention or adapted to the conditions of the previously existing terrain (or structure).

© AABE -Atelier d’Architecture Bruno Erpicum & Partners / Photo: Jean-Luc Laloux

One of his works in Ibiza is Can Durban, a fundamentally minimalist work that has been approached to the Ibizan traditional finca style, in an environment of ancient fields with old stone walls. The owner asked Erpicum to design his home into a modern version of an Ibizan country estate within the framework of these centenarian fields. In this work minimalism is found in the large windows, offering open views to the landscape, or in the airy interiors so characteristic of the style. Again, Erpicum has used previously existing elements: the patio is mildly sunken taking advantage of the unevenness of the terrain, which ensures that even with strong winds it remains a sheltered place, and the pool was built using the old pylon. Can Durban shows us combinations of several natural stone walls next to the concrete breathes, and it seems to have a warmer atmosphere to which the Belgian architect has accustomed us.

erpicum-ibiza-finca-interpretation (1)

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Can Durban © AABE -Atelier d’Architecture Bruno Erpicum & Partners

Bruno Erpicum is also the author of Infinity House, a more minimalistic work than the previous one. In this triangular volume built villa white extends all over the space, both exterior and interior, and governed by rectilinear forms that draw scenes in large horizontal spaces and towering heights. It’s a sign of serene and elegant minimalism, occupying a position in the landscape that faces away from the other houses and allows to open the horizon, making the most of what the place offers. The interior seems to merge into the landscape through large glass areas that allow a large influx of light and the prominence of the intense blue of the Mediterranean. Due to the dominance of the snowy white walls, throughout the day the sun’s movement causes changes in light and shadows acting on the atmosphere of the place.

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Infinity © AABE -Atelier d’Architecture Bruno Erpicum & Partners / Photos: Jean-Luc Laloux

The architecture of Bruno Erpicum is devoid of decorative attributes. However, when it is understood that the works are conceived with a predisposition to absorb the beauty offered by the site, it is understood that certain grounds are established to the home to be shown as something special, out of the ordinary. Every work is unique and yet you don’t have to be an insider to recognize his style. Entering the house, its easy to realize that the Belgian is a meticulous architect that finds an idea and an intention for every single room in the house. 

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© AABE -Atelier d’Architecture Bruno Erpicum & Partners / Photos: Jean-Luc Laloux

The Belgian architect stands out in his profession for many reasons, enjoying a reputation and therefore receives a large demand for projects around the world. Ibiza is one of the places where more projects have been built. Through our website, we present some of the villas by architect Bruno Erpicum.


Erpicums original quotes:

[1] The architecture should disappear and be as simple as possible to let nature express itself and dominate

[2] We must use friendly materials, create with local products while remaining attentive to the installation and maintenance conditions required by the geographical situation

[3] “Contrary to what many believe, concrete is a natural material made up of sand and gravel, capable of dealing with the power of the elements while maintaining its character.”

[4] “Hide the first view so that the visitor can discover the magic of the place as late as possible

[5] “You have to create rooms that turn their backs to the sea, spaces that are more introverted to calm the view

Bruno Erpicum, 2014.


BigMat International Architecture Award (2013). Recuperado el 28 septiembre de 2015, de

Atelier d’Architecture Bruno Erpicum & Partners (2013). Recuperado el 2 de octubre de 2015, de

SANJU, Maria. Bruno Erpicum reinterpreta una vivienda payesa. Decoesfera. 5 de agosto de 2013. [fecha de consulta: 3 de octubre de 2015]

It is possible that the pictures and the content reaches us through different channels and is sometimes difficult to know the author or the original source of the content. Whenever possible we added the author. If you are the author of any content (image, video, photography, text, etc.) and do not appear properly credited, please contact us and we will name you as an author. If you show up in a picture and think it impugns the honor or privacy of someone we can tell us and it will be withdrawn.

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rolph blakstad portraitRolph Blakstad. A Legacy for Ibizan Architecture

Rolph Blakstad. A Legacy for Ibizan Architecture

Rolph Blakstad (Vancouver, 1929) developed an extensive career before moving to Ibiza. At age 21 he studied art, medieval and Renaissance architecture in Florence, before his visit to Morocco, where he was inspired by his research on traditional Islamic architecture, craft design and subsequently the origins of Ibizan architecture, his most extensive research work. Before arriving in Ibiza, the Canadian architect worked in theater and tv as an actor, operator and scenographer, he also made documentaries on wildlife in Africa and worked as a draftsman of archaeological monuments for the British government. After settling in Ibiza, he was to found Blakstad Design Consultants in 1967.

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Rolph and his wife Mary first came to Ibiza in 1956, when the ship from Denia made a stopover en route to Mallorca. However, instead of following the initial travel plan, the White Island captivated them so they remained there until the end of their days. At that time the island lacked many modern luxuries to which they had been accustomed, but found a relaxed, dignified atmosphere and Ibiza had the deep cultural roots that both craved. Blakstads hunger for knowledge and interest in the ancient culture did not stop after establishing in Ibiza, quite the opposite. Rolph was not only was interested in architecture; his notes and studies extend into other areas like archeology, history, ethnology and even genetics.

After settling down in Ibiza and for the next five decades, Blakstad studied Ibizan constructions and especially Ses Feixes, which he initially related to ancient Egypt. His notes and drawings from the fields, which he drew in detail, allowed documenting how these wetlands were in the fifties and the evolution towards subsequent degradation. The Canadian architect talked to builders and took notes in order to preserve these traditional pieces and to rebuild a few returning them to their original state.

                                                         Representation of Ses Feixes in antiquity / Exposition: MOISÉS COPA

His research led him to develop the thesis that Ibizan country houses had their origin in the rectilinear homes of the Neolithic in the Near East. Blakstad traveled halfway around the world looking for architectural connections to demonstrate the roots of the Ibizan finca, leading him to the conclusion that it was a thousand year old architectural style. Despite successive invasions and a variety of civilizations that have populated Ibiza and Formentera, Blakstad said the architecture of the islands is the faithful replica of the Phoenician (or Carthaginian) constructions.

According to his theory, the preservation of these ancient buildings was related to the indifference of the leaders of the various invaders to the peasantry and their way of life, as to maintain the control over the island it was enough for these to stay confined in the citadel of Dalt Vila, by so the material essence of their culture was not changed nor Roman nor Byzantine nor Arabs.

To Blakstad there was no doubt that the original architecture of Palestine was the same as Ibiza, i.e., the Phoenician. Blakstad repeatedly described the Ibicencan as “people of Canaan”, since for him the roots were the same. His research allowed to find in Syria, Lebanon and Palestine archaeological remains corresponded with Ibiza rural fincas, whose construction also used savin junipers, among other characteristic elements of these ancient buildings. Blakstad even offered himself to the Palestinians to regain their orginal architecture, when he crossed the border separating Israel and Jordan in 1993, after the peace agreement between Rabin and Arafat.

After traveling around the eastern Mediterranean tracing similarities in the constructions, Blakstad reflected the results of comparative analysis in two publications: the ‘Guía de la Architectura de Ibiza y Formentera’ (in collaboration with the architect Elías Torres, 1980), and in ‘La casa eivissenca. Claus d’una tradició mil·lenària’ (published by Rolph Blakstad in 2013).


His works include all the information gathered by Blakstad to demonstrate the similarities of Ibizan architecture and customs with those of different places in the Middle East who share Phoenician and Carthaginian roots. His travels and his texts have sought to support the thesis that traditional Ibizan architecture stems from the occupation of the Phoenicians and Carthaginians and buildings had hardly changed in more than two millennia of existence.

Finca Can Cala © Blakstad Design Consultants

Rolph Blakstad’s passion for Ibiza’s rural architecture, its origins and ancestral customs, he devoted much of his life to a complete historical-typological study. However, although he was the son of an architect, he never graduated in architecture even though this was his great passion. For this reason, as his son Rolf explains, Blakstad was for long a discordant voice, but nowadays more and more experts agree with his theories.

Once the granddaughter of the famous architect Walter Gropius, founder of the Bauhaus school, asked him, “Tell me, Mr. Blakstad, what is, your kind of architecture?” He replied, “I look for the baby that your grandfather let out.”

The interest and discipline that Rolph has pursued also differ from those of his friend the German architect, Erwin Broner. Broner, who lived in Ibiza since 1936, was part of the Bauhaus since before World War II, and approched Ibizan architecture with Bauhaus design concepts and modern materials. The Blakstad style, however, could be described as a continuation to Ibizan traditional contruction, trying to “retain the value of the valuable in cultural tradition, which can be applied to modern life.” It is, Rolph’s approach could not have been more different from that of his colleague Erwin.

In some of his works can be seen in a sought the roots of oriental aesthetics, while for others he had chosen to highlight the style of Ibizan architecture:

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© Blakstad Design Consultants

The interior designs of the Canadian architect were conceived to improve the disadvantages of the traditional finca. That meant, above all, an increase of light and space:

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In 1967 Rolph Blakstad founded Blakstad Design Consultants. His studies became the basis of his research, design and construction for over 40 years. Rolph extensively studied Ibizan architecture, when it was still an ancient tradition who lived with the peasants builders, whose rules were transmitted orally from father to son. Similarly, today his sons Rolf and Nial run the business representing the family tradition, after their father passed away in 2012. A living tradition that adapts to changing circumstances, but which is still based on the lines and forms of the local construction of the island, from ancient tradition. The works of Blakstad Design Consultants have been adapted to the needs and technologies dictated by the modern lifestyle, but always faithful, from the architectural point of view, to the historical conditions that their father so much had been researching, studying and documenting.

Rolf and Nial Blakstad are still working on the restoration of Ibizan fincas and building new houses. Today, the illustrations of their studies and their implementations have a major impact on green building practices and environment integrated construction.

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© Blakstad Design Consultants

One can say that the name Blakstad in Ibiza is synonymous with beautiful and distinctive designs, strongly influenced by the historical architectural bases from the island, combined with an authentic style of personal interpretation. An air of comfort can be perceived by visiting any villa built by Blakstad, probably because of the intellectual, emotional and intuitive approach to their work.






MESTRE, Bartolo y TORRES, Elias (1971). Guía de Arquitectura de Ibiza y Formentera, islas Pitiusas. Disponible en: CuadernosArquitecturaUrbanismo.

Its possible that the pictures and the content reaches us through different channels and is sometimes difficult to know the author or the original source of the content. Whenever possible we added the author. If you are the author of any content (image, video, photography, text, etc.) and do not appear properly credited, please contact us and we will name you as an author. If you show up in a picture and think it impugns the honor or privacy of someone we can tell us and it will be withdrawn.

Kelosa Blog editors are not responsible for the opinions or comments made by others, these being the sole responsibility of their authors. Although your comment immediately appears in Kelosa Blog we reserve the right to delete (in case of using swear words, insults or disrespect of any kind) and editing (to make it more readable) or undermines the integrity of the site.



villas in cala conta luxury urbanization (2)Gated Community in Cala Conta. An Eco-friendly Luxury Development

Gated Community in Cala Conta. An Eco-friendly Luxury Development

The luxury gated community Calaconta is the first residential development of its kind in Ibiza. This complex of private villas offers a number of amenities, a sophisticated security system and respects the environment. Furthermore, it is located very close to the famous beaches of Cala Conta (Cales de Comte, in ibicencan), one of the most desirable and less developed areas of Ibiza.

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© The Clover / Photos: Conrad White, Jordi Gomez, Adam Johnston


The residential complex is located on the northwest coast of Ibiza, 500 meters from the beaches of Cala Conta, one of the most impressive stretches of Mediterranean coast. The complex consists of houses oriented to the famous Ibizan sunsets, with the islands of S’illa del Bosc and Conejera framing the picturesque scenery. Calaconta urbanization is situated 20 minutes from the airport and 30 minutes from Ibiza Town. In the nearby area there are many points of interests for visitors. The northwest coast of Ibiza has some of the best beaches, restaurants, beach clubs and hotels on the island. The nightlife of San Antonio is a 10 minutes drive and Platja d’en Bossa is 20 minutes away.

© The Clover / Photos: Conrad White, Jordi Gomez, Adam Johnston


The villas in Cala Conta were designed by architect MAGED Barmawi and present a modern architecture of Ibizan inspiration equipped with advanced technology. These buildings aim to reveal a modern architecture that breaks the traditional boundaries of the houses and to focus attention on the nature around them. This focus is achieved through the use of noble materials such as marble, wood and iron that evoke the dominant colors of the island; on the other hand, natural stones are quarried from the sorrounding land so that walls and terrain are intentionally confused in a single indoor-outdoor space.

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© The Clover / Photos: Conrad White, Jordi Gomez, Adam Johnston

These buildings present a successful fusion between a fundamentally minimalist design, but inspired by the traditional architecture of Ibiza, which stands as a whole by straight lines and a mixture of cubic volumes. The result is pure and simple shapes, but thanks to more organic elements like natural stone walls, dehumanization and coldness, that sometimes stigmatizes minimalist architecture, is in part avoided.

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© The Clover / Photos: Conrad White, Jordi Gomez, Adam Johnston

The homes in the gated community are planned on three types or sizes:

House Area Bedrooms Plot
Type 1 661 m²

7119 f²

4/8 1.100 / 1.700 m²

11.840 ft² /18.298 ft²

Type 2 694 m²

7475 f²

4/8 1.100 / 1.700 m²

11.840 ft² /18.298 ft²

Type 3 792 m²

8529 f²

4/8 1.100 / 1.700 m²

11.840 ft² /18.298 ft²

© The Clover

Each villa is west facing and has a private pool and large terraces, gardens, secure parking and panoramic views of the sunsets of Cala Conta. Architecture has been used to create natural air currents to reduce the need for air conditioning. Each house recycles all their water and has its own geothermal system for cooling, heating and generating hot water, with a minimum consumption of conventional energy sources.

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© The Clover / Photos: Conrad White, Jordi Gomez, Adam Johnston

The buyer is also offered with the possibility of designing the interiors of the home from scratch, together with Calaconta’s department of architecture, always respecting the esterior architectural style of the complex and thus maintaining a modern version of the architectural essence of Ibiza.

© The Clover / Photos: Conrad White, Jordi Gomez, Adam Johnston


Calaconta is the first development of the island with green credentials, such as been qualified eco-friendly. As mentioned above, the villas are supplied with geothermal energy for heating and cooling, efficient rain water recovery system for garden irrigation and greywater recycling through a treatment process. The promoter José Peman says that, during the construction of the complex, recycling of aggregates was performed; rocks and earth have been removed from the sorroundings, thus reducing fuel costs deriving from transport.

© The Clover / Photos: Conrad White, Jordi Gomez, Adam Johnston


Calaconta villas have 24-hour security every day of the year. The gated community has private paved roads, accessible only through a checkpoint with personalized access. Besides being a gated complex, it has an active and passive perimeter security system, thermal, volumetric and contact controls, all centralized in the checkpoint office of the urbanization. Thanks to these stringent security measures, Calaconta is also presented as a lucrative investment opportunity for vacational rentals.


Calaconta aims to be the finest of all residential complex in Ibiza. The gated community offers a personalized 24-hour concierge service and has a Spa center with water treatments, massages, cardio zone and gym, among others. Community gardens are the result of a sustainable landscape design that has been raised with simplicity and functionality: grass, arid zone plants and aromatic succulents plants that are kept throughout the year. The administration offers the owner of each house the possibility of hiring lawn care and pool.

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© The Clover

Completion of the residential complex Calaconta is planned in the summer of 2017. So far 29 of the 32 villas have been sold, so it may be finished earlier. Currently, in Kelosa we have three properties for sale in Calaconta urbanization. For more information, click here: Luxury houses for sale in Cala Conta 


BROOKER, Nathan. Upmarket homes for sale that offer the perfect weekend escape. Financial Times [online]. Agost 2013. [Retrieved 9/1/2015]

AFACAN, Dominique. Luxury Property in Ibiza. Forbes [online]. November 2014. [Retrieved 9/1/2015]

MAGALY. Calaconta by Maged Bermawi. HOMEDSGN [online]. July 2013. [Retrieved 9/2/2015]

AVAREZ, Paz. Casas de lujo… fáciles de vender, a pesar del precio. CincoDías [online]. July 2013. [Retrieved 9/2/2015]


Its possible that the pictures and the content reaches us through different channels and is sometimes difficult to know the author or the original source of the content. Whenever possible we added the author. If you are the author of any content (image, video, photography, text, etc.) and do not appear properly credited, please contact us and we will name you as an author. If you show up in a picture and think it impugns the honor or privacy of someone we can tell us and it will be withdrawn.

Kelosa Blog editors are not responsible for the opinions or comments made by others, these being the sole responsibility of their authors. Although your comment immediately appears in Kelosa Blog we reserve the right to delete (in case of using swear words, insults or disrespect of any kind) and editing (to make it more readable) or undermines the integrity of the site.


Title - Minimalist Architecture in Ibiza-2Minimalist Architecture in Ibiza. Roots & Trends

Minimalist Architecture in Ibiza. Roots & Trends

When we talk about of Spanish architecture, we often think of gilded stuccos, intricate arches, colorful tiles or open courtyards with ornamental balustrades. However, Ibiza is a world unto itself. The hallmark of the new Ibizan style is elegant, white and minimalist. And, as we will see next, these aspects aren’t only the product of a new trend, but rather for centuries formed part of Ibiza’s rural architecture.


During the 30s intellectuals from various fields visited Ibiza, getting some of them to spend long periods on the island. Among them were architects belonging to the GATEPAC group, like Josep Lluís Sert and German Rodriguez Arias, aswell as fellow German architect Erwin Broner. All of them were fascinated by traditional Ibizan architecture. Above all they found Ibiza’s traditional finca as an austere, practical and fully functional home, representing perfectly the basics of concept and identity of modern architecture. Although long before the minimalist discipline and the Bauhaus school, these architects were surprised at how the Ibizan finca mostly met the guidelines that marked this new trend. The ibizan rural house fascinated by its simplicity, the functionality of each element, its integration into the landscape, all built in a rational way that captivated these modern architects of the time.

[caption id="attachment_1236" align="alignleft" width="271"]Josep Lluís Sert (izq.) Josep Lluís Sert (left)[/caption]

As architect Josep Lluís Sert explains, according to a transcript of his speeches in the symposium held at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Ibiza in 1973, when it comes to Ibiza’s traditional rural architecture:

“This simple, white, rational architecture had a dimension and a human scale. The houses were obeying human needs and not responding to architectural orders of other times and cultures. We saw that this special and popular architecture had some constants. We could not tell what century this or that house was build, as this became irrelevant, because hardly anything changed in this type of architecture over the centuries. It was a perpetuation of forms endorsed by use. “

And it is especially in the perpetuation of forms endorsed by use and in the obedience to human needs, where we find the main link between the Ibizan rural architecture and architectural minimalism. Also, its possible to see that the traditional Ibizan finca meets most of the properties that define minimalist architecture:     

-Basic rectilinear geometry
Façade importance
Literal use of material
Austerity. Absence of ornaments
Structural and functional purism
Reduction and synthesis
-Economy of means

And, if the remaining three characteristics (Dematerialization, Order, Industrial production and standardization) are not being met or only partially, it is more due to technological advances and resources not available at that time, than due to a logical or natural development by this architectural discipline to comply with them.

The modern concept of the Ibizan fincas build by the architects of Blakstad Design Consultants, founded by Rolph Blakstad, could in fact represent what could be the natural evolution of the Ibizan rural architecture into a modern version of itself. To adapt to modern trends and requirements, these homes have been appropriated with minimalist elements to solve some of the major problems of the old fincas, but with a strong influence of traditional Ibizan finca design. The availability of modern materials, techniques and machinery allows, among others, to raise ceilings, structures that increase exterior light, roomy and diaphanous interior spaces and to expand sizes of rooms and entrances.

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© Kelosa | Ibiza Selected Properties

Modern villas in Ibiza usually have diaphanous floors and large windows, maximizing the views of the islands mediterranean landscapes. Among the Ibizan modern houses purely minimalist styles can be found, but also influences of other architectural disciplines such as Blakstad style or designs that combine both modern and traditional disciplines, with one or another more prominent.

A good example of a recent trend is the country estate Can Basso, as the result of a respectful renovation of an old finca over 300 years old. The architect did not remove any element of the original structure of the country house, but has changed some interiors, to be suited for latest trend designs in space and furniture, and added a few minimalist design elements like pool, windows, walls and garden. The result is an elegant combination of both disciplines, with a clear greater role of the original Ibizan finca style.

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Finca Can Basso -© Greg Jouslin/F. Dimmers

Another example is Can Durban, designed by Belgian architect Bruno Erpicum. Erpicum projects are known for a purist minimalism: large, white, bright villas and in search of infinite lines. In this case his work shows us a reinterpretation of the traditional house of Ibiza, with a strong role of minimalism. The result is, for example, frameless windows to benefit from wide views of the landscape, or prolonged and roomy interior spaces, providing what once was a traditional finca with a fundamentally minimalist architecture.

                           Pictures: Can Durban /© AABE – Atelier d’Architecture Bruno Erpicum & Partners

Minimalist architecture, at its core, reduces the structure to its basic elements, simplifying the design of spaces and providing serenity and tranquility, which are, in a sense synonymous with Ibizan style. The minimalist elements typically include pure materials from basic manufacturing, that harmonize effortlessly with natural light, form and space. With its roots in Japanese traditions and the Zen philosophy, minimalism is based on the transmission of calm through the essence, using the aesthetic principles of open spaces and the absence of unnecessary clutter that can be caused by architectural ornaments or decorative elements.

© AABE – Atelier d’Architecture Bruno Erpicum & Partners

At its best, the concept is realized when, on entering the house, from the first instant views are there from the living hall, across the pool deck and beyond to the landscape. In the same way, when we get the impression that the the room extends to the outdoor terrace, because architectural elements merge the two spaces, that is minimalism in its best form. One can say that minimalist architectural represents these sensations as an integral element and perfectly embodies the serene and relaxed feeling that Ibiza stands for.

We have seen that there is an undeniable connection between the two architectures. Therefore, it makes all the sense in the world here to invest in simple and austere standards, as it is found in the roots of Ibizan architecture.







Referencias/ Fuentes:

FERRER ABARZUZA, A. (1974). «La casa campesina de Ibiza». Madrid: Narria.

FERNÁNDEZ, R. (1998). «El laboratorio americano». Madrid: Editorial Biblioteca Nueva

CUERDA, Mª Concepción. La vivienda mínima en España: primer paso del debate sobre la vivienda social. Scripta Nova [en línea]. 1 de agosto de 2003, Vol. VII, núm. 146(023) [fecha de consulta: 30 de agosto 2015] 

SERT, Josep Lluís (1973) «intervenciones de Josep Lluis Sert en la charla coloquio celebrada en el Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Ibiza». Disponible en: Grup d’Opinió d’Arquitectes.


It is possible that the pictures and the content reaches us through different channels and is sometimes difficult to know the author or the original source of the content. Whenever possible we added the author. If you are the author of any content (image, video, photography, text, etc.) and do not appear properly credited, please contact us and we will name you as an author. If you show up in a picture and think it impugns the honor or privacy of someone we can tell us and it will be withdrawn.

Kelosa Blog editors are not responsible for the opinions or comments made by others, these being the sole responsibility of their authors. Although your comment immediately appears in Kelosa Blog we reserve the right to delete (in case of using swear words, insults or disrespect of any kind) and editing (to make it more readable) or undermines the integrity of the site.