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A disused military base constructed during the Franco dictatorship in order to control the south coast dozes on the island of Menorca. Its bunkers cling to the cliffside of the 2 km long coastline of a former agricultural domain of 72 hectares of which there remain only the stone walls delimiting the fields, barns, a chapel and an abandoned manor house. It is here, between sky and sea, that a love of the island inspires dreams of creating a new tourist facility based on the natural environment with a minimal ecological footprint, where guests can enjoy an intact, wild landscape.
The houses closest to the coast glide over the natural terrain. It is the thick walls of stone and concrete that define the main bodies of the houses, between which are positioned the slabs that support the hanging gardens. Each has a pool where the sky is reflected and appears to blend with the sea.
The houses located in the interior of the lands are a contemporary reproduction of traditional Menorcan architecture. Volumetric simplicity, sloping roofs, whitewashed roof tiles like the “Porxada”, an exterior space traditionally located on the south/southwest side of the house, a sort of vaulted gallery, a place of life and an expansion of the house providing shade to the most exposed part. It is combined here with a spacious living room, kitchen and dining room. The rooms on the ground floor open onto patios that frame the landscape. The master bedroom takes advantage of a shaded terrace offered by the extension of the roof. In the interior, sun-bleached stones, upholstery and woodwork from local wood with a refined design continue the theme of paying tribute to the local architecture.
The manor house is converted into a hotel. The structure of the building is preserved and restored. The contemporary technical equipment disappears. A pond in the south facade gives the building a natural hygrothermal comfort. Only the design of the woodwork and the interior architecture express the contemporaneity of the project. The memory of the former equestrian area is expressed in the arrangements. Leather furniture lined with decorative stitching, ironwork, and pieces of carved wood all come together in the creation of a universe in which contemporary luxury goes hand-in-hand with local crafts. Between the walls of the old buildings in ruins and the preserved field enclosures a pool has been installed, accompanied by a summer restaurant, a tennis court and an outdoor spa.
Further to the south, a hotel with 20 suites crouches in the vegetation of a eucalyptus forest. Borrowing their optimized and shell-like shapes from the military architecture, the suites are modules that frame the sea. The bathrooms, closets and entry are installed within the thickness of the walls. The homes are extended by means of a large terrace, in this way benefiting from a unique view over the Mediterranean. A long wooden deck that opens through the trees connects them. The group of homes is supported with inclined piles that blend into the eucalyptus trunks. In the extreme south of the bay, an old bunker dug into the soil is transformed into a lobby that houses the reception and a restaurant.


Client: Mare et Terra
 
Location: Alaior, Menorca - Spain
 
Budget: NC 
 
Net floor area: new construction 5 900 sqm, restructuration 2 000 sqm 
 
Project manager: 
Architects  > CFA
Team > Arnaud Sachet, Ana Vida Pozuelo 
Missions > feasibility study, early draft, building permit
 
Start of studies: May 2012 (direct drive) 
 
Program : Rehabilitation of former military site of 72 ha into a hotel and residential complex : 2 hotels with 40 suites, 15 luxury houses, spa, fitness, restaurant et swimming pools.


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