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New European Bauhaus

Inhabiting an Enclosed Landscape

Old material techniques meet current ones for "Inhabiting an Enclosed Landscape."

Inhabiting an enclosed landscape © European Union
Inhabiting an enclosed landscape
© European Union, 2021

Old material techniques meet current ones for "Inhabiting an Enclosed Landscape.

Based in Mallorca, the initiative's goal is to blend local vernacular knowledge of materials with cutting-edge technology to build social housing units on the island.

The proposal won last year's New European Bauhaus Rising Star Prize under the "Techniques, materials, and processes for construction and design" category.

Historically, the isolation of the Balearic Islands has made its inhabitants develop their own material culture out of the island's limited resources.

Together with the Balearic Institute of Housing (IBAVI) and local stonemasons, the project's creators aim to develop ten affordable and eco-friendly dwellings that update sandstone and timber construction techniques, blending them with contemporary building ones based on circularity, inclusivity, and sustainability.

The social housing complex sits on the outskirts of Santa Margalida, a small village on the island of Mallorca's hinterland.

Besides providing shelter for ten local families to address the islands' housing issue, the project will also build several workshops on the ground floor to foster a sense of community.

Thus, traditional materials such as steel or concrete will be employed; their usage is kept to a minimum to lower carbon footprint. Other notable data include cutting annual energy use to 17.20 kW/m2, 100 liters of water per occupant daily, and a 25% reduction in CO₂ emissions during construction.

Solar panels mounted on the roof will generate a hot water supply. Each living room façade will be transformed into a conservatory, transmitting heat to the interior during cool months but could be open and shaded the rest of the year, transforming it into an outdoor patio.

Understanding nature's cycles through meticulous window placement were critical for the project.

Another essential consideration came in the arrangement and shape of each house, which, like a solar clock, follows the sun's movement during the day. As a result, the thermal mass of the stone maintains a consistent interior temperature throughout the year.

© European Union