adress/ industrial park 7-8 can cantó, eivissa
surface area/ 1.000 m2

competition/ 2007
honourable mention

architects/ vora arquitectura (pere buil castells and toni riba galí)
project Team/ arnau boronat, thomas boerendonk

images/ arnau boronat


when someone visits the place, in the can cantó area, beyond la pau avenue, one can feel in “no one’s land”, where the city meets the countryside. the city is imposing itself. construction is already consolidated, most of the urban infrastructures are executed… but dry stone walls can still be found in the unbuilt plots, some lonely olive trees in the middle of mediterranean shrubs in abandoned fields. the building we propose tries to relate with this decomposing landscape, not a formal contextualization but in an abstract way; and in a material way too. the housing block we propose is a search for compactness related to the housing constructions of ibizan ancestors, from the density inside the wall enclosure of vila dalt, to the volumetric agglomeration that shaped the small rural properties studied by edwin broner, raoul housmann and josep llouis sert.

popular architecture in its morphology responded to adverse climate conditions like those in ibiza: high humidity and insulation, high temperatures in summer. it’s necessary today to recover the characteristics of this architecture, rescue the bioclimatic ability of its forms: dense but crushed volumetric order to create interstitial spaces, protected and shaded (patios, porches,… ), reflecting colors, and small windows for better solar protection.

the ideas that guided the proposal are:

1. we believe that the building should be anchored to the ground, in terms of both construction and abstract meaning. a building with dense construction base to the ground floor, getting lighter as it rises, terminating in light elements at the top such as porches and chimneys, like an olive tree with its muscular trunk, few or no branches and some small leaves.

2. the building has a perimeter organization forming a closed block, formally fragmented. the entrances to the houses are from both the perimeter and from inside the block, through a corner porch. this interior becomes a kind of community courtyard, a wide space for gathering and communication between each patio or terrace. in this way the access corridors no longer exist and the built area is diminished substantially.

3. like olive trees, the building twists, creating a vibrant elevation. the facades are folded, so the building gains another scale. the sun movement will do the rest, with different effects on each surface, changing continually and expressively.

4. the object twist comes from a simple geometric game which starts from a basic rectangular module 3,5 x 4 m (containing toilet and kitchen). the twisted modules (containing rooms and living room) are added to this first one, changing depending on the typology.

5. because of urban parameters and construction efficiency, we consider that one objective of the project is to achieve a hybrid block (single-family house / multifamily block), a space for individuality between sameness. the geometry of the project contributes to this perception. each house has its own access from the ground floor, from the exterior.

6. every house has a terrace or a garden. this is a completely exterior space, but protected from the sun with an awning, recovering the concept of porch in the ibizan “ventas”. it is a recreational space for the house and a climatic filter.

7. the terraces and gardens have a light structure for eventual awnings or vine arbors, defining a second volumetric level: lightness and transparency (like olive tree leaves).

8. the housing is topped with necessary infrastructure elements. considering the low height of the building they will be protagonists of the exterior appearance. we are not only talking about chimneys for kitchens and toilet ventilation, but also television antennas and solar panels. those elements are organized following the geometry of the project, becoming a sculptural top to the building.

social housing competition in can cantó