In the coveted southwest region of Mallorca, architecturally sophisticated modern design properties are the most sought-after but there are very few that offer family-friendly layouts on large plots. ‘Form’ has often taken priority over ‘function’, but TRASLUZ in the resort of Santa Ponsa is different – it has it all.
TRASLUZ is a spacious (660m² build area including covered terraces, 2,630m² plot size) modern family home suited to year-round living or long holidays with family and friends. Its design brief centred around big rooms, large terraces and generous gardens to accommodate plenty of people. One key design goal was to have everything on one level – something that is rarely found in Mallorca and only possible on a large or double plot (in the case of TRASLUZ) due to tight building regulations. Add in spectacular architecture, including traditional Mallorcan elements such as natural stone walls and indigenous planting, and the project’s direction and focus was set.
TRASLUZ is indeed very close to the sea, 100 metres on foot, but the property does not have a sea view as its major selling point or priority. On the one hand the coastal vista is only at its best from the first floor sunset terrace and VIP suite, and on the other hand the priority is instead on privacy, a substantial usable garden and lots of sunshine.
The main challenge presented by this project was to create the largest possible flat area to accommodate the pool and pool terraces at the same level. Due to the slope of the plot, and very strict building regulations, the architects had to study carefully where to place the house to gain the best possible sun orientation (south) and greatest privacy - while maintaining a good sea view from the roof terrace.
Speaking of the sea, as indicated above, TRASLUZ has an attractive sea view from the sunset terrace but this isn’t what the property is about – although it does mean you can stroll to the sea for a refreshing dip any time you like.
Although undoubtedly striking and modern in style, TRASLUZ has adopted an elegant timeless approach to its architecture ensuring that the property will age effortlessly in years to come. Key elements include a very modern angular white ‘framework’ working in harmony with hardwood brise soleil-style ‘cladding’ and a typically Mediterranean double-height natural stone wall (a type of wall which will be shortly recognised by UNESCO World Heritage) which dominates and extends all the way from the magnificent entrance through the living room and out to the swimming pool terrace. Vast expanses of frameless window façades and staggered ceiling heights add to the dramatic effect.
In the words of architect and interior designer Sandra Piñeiro Estarellas from Vidal Piñeiro Arquitectes: “The aim of the project was to create a modern, elegant and simple home. The home folds nicely around itself, welcoming the visitor and drawing him inside. The concept allows for these same folds to continue to the rear of the home embracing the communal outdoor space of swimming pool, garden, chillout and barbecue. The property has a large family in mind, clearly differentiating the most private ‘night-time’ zone from the ‘daytime’ zone, flowing smoothly from interior to exterior thanks to sliding windows which allow seamless inside-outside sightlines and communication.”
As Sandra explained, the outdoor area comprises a southeast-facing pool terrace which acts as an extension of the living area by way of windows which retract into the walls. The large covered terrace is the ideal spot for warm summer (and winter – this is Mallorca) days with friends and family at the 14 metre long pool which covers 80m² and has an infinity edge with cascade as well as a more shallow children’s pool with Jacuzzi function. An outside kitchen and barbecue are ideally located directly alongside the pool, while a separate chillout lounge provides a welcome moment of relaxation for the adults. In the busy southwest of Mallorca, this kind of outdoor area is rarely found. Grounds are generally not even half as large, making TRASLUZ truly unique. Families can enjoy that extra quality of life without sacrificing on architectural design or proximity to the sea.
The garden, more than 1,200m² of it landscaped, is essentially divided into two schemes – a very rustic Mediterranean entrance with a signature ancient olive tree focal point surrounded by native rosemary and lavender, followed by a rather more tropical touch to the pool area with banana trees, palms, bird of paradise flowers and evergreen cycads. Bright blue-hued plumbago will add accent colour while the existing pine trees remain to provide scent and shade. There’s also a very large 400m² lawn area for children to play. To boost privacy, particularly between TRASLUZ and the apartments of Edificio Formentera to its right, various screening plants will be used such as palms and oleander. The whole area will be bathed with a complex lighting system and discreet automatic irrigation.
Due to the large park-like plot, much attention was paid to a family-friendly design and layout, especially on the interior. Patrick Hansmeier from Sophisticated Projects explains, “The goal with the interior was to bear in mind that the home will most likely be used by a large family. Therefore we had to follow a narrow path between an extraordinary interior design that is not only unique up-to-date and matches with the modern and clean exterior architecture but also creates a cosy ambience for families to raise their children. Colours had to be neutral and warm, materials easy to maintain, robust and not too delicate - that why we chose the Italian tiled flooring instead of a natural stone, even though the tile is more expensive. At the same time the house should not be boring or a clone of most luxury houses you see for sale. Sophisticated interior design was needed to make TRASLUZ stand out and sell. We also assumed that the house is likely to be a main residence, or at least a property that future owners will spend more time in than the average second homeowner in Mallorca. Our design therefore had to be timeless and not follow a two year design trend that would fall out of fashion soon after.”
This home has an amazing entrance, signature olive tree at its heart, but of course most of the time the owners will arrive by car parking in the large two-car garage of over 38m². This will be no ordinary garage, the soft beige Italian floor tiles of the living area will extend through to the garage and a large piece of backlit artwork will dominate a feature wall. Eco-friendly electric car charging points will be installed – particularly interesting as France will ban all petrol and diesel cars by 2040 and Volvo has pledged to make only hybrid or electric cars after 2019.
Storage and Laundry
The garage leads neatly to a storage and laundry area, muddy boots and shopping can be unobtrusively deposited while the large laundry space has been devised with housekeeping staff in mind – spacious and functional.
Again with no downgrade of flooring, the 25m² staff accommodation features a small salon and en-suite bedroom with a completely separate side entrance. Ideal for a nanny or housekeeper, this room leads off the laundry room and has convenient access to the vast kitchen and living room.
At almost 40m² in area, the kitchen is more than generous. An elegant Varenna kitchen by Poliform (Italy), it boasts real wood units and a central cooking island with breakfast bar. Electric appliances (fridge/freezer with ice maker and water dispenser, wine fridge, induction hob, oven with microwave and steam oven, extractor hood, dishwasher) are by Gaggenau while there’s two sinks by Blanco and a Dekton worktop. Step outside (or look through the frameless glass curtain windows by Schüco) and there is a handy covered terrace containing an additional outdoor kitchen with worktop, sink and a big gas-fired barbecue. A little bathroom accessed from this terrace is handy for barbecue guests and pool users alike.
Spanning over 113m², the living room alone is the size of your larger-than-average three bedroom apartment. It has high ceilings (3.6 metres high), elaborate handcrafted stone feature walls and an automatic gas fireplace, and a 6 metre glass façade to allow light to flood in. A double-height suspended staircase leads to the upper floor VIP suite and sunset terrace while a guest WC is also on hand.
The so-called ‘Family Area’ is a collection of four bedrooms (or three bedrooms and a games room or study) and a master suite – all screened off by a security sliding door for privacy and separation. Intended for children, three of the bedrooms are ensuite (bathroom fittings in ‘supersteel’ from GROHE’s Essence range, tiles by Porcelanosa, sink and shower tray in Krion by Porcelanosa, Duravit Starck edition toilet) and all have fitted wardrobes and desk/dressing tables as well as windows that seamlessly slide back into the walls.
The elaborately designed master suite covers almost 60m² and is divided into a dressing area with professionally-lit makeup zone, a southeast facing light-flooded bedroom and a bathroom suite with freestanding Teuco bathtub (and sink) and separate Scandinavian-design VOLA rain shower. Design features in this bathroom include TEUCO basins and free-standing tub, a Duravit Starck edition toilet, black VOLA tap fittings and natural oak flooring. A nice extra special touch is the lushly-planted Asian-style patio which runs the full length of the master suite providing verdant views and fresh air. Completely enclosed, it could be left open all day allowing air in without compromising security – the patio even has an outdoor rain shower for al-fresco refreshment. Similarly, the master bedroom has windows that disappear into the walls and open on to a pergola garden which overlooks the pool terrace.
In addition to a complete one-level home, there is around 80m² of accommodation upstairs which is adaptable to taste. Perhaps a VIP suite, almost the same size as the master suite, with dressing area and bathroom - plus a gymnasium, or Spa, or home cinema. Or perhaps, if the children are older and more self-sufficient, this floor is devoted entirely to an 80m² master suite, moving VIP guests downstairs. The obvious bonus of upstairs is the special sea view and the sunset terrace which begs for a cocktail party.
The flooring in the entire living area, as well as all terraces, is an Italian-design 90cm x 90cm tile by Casalgrande Padana called ‘Porto Rotondo’. It offers a natural stone look in a soft beige colour – in fact so ‘natural’ is the ‘stone look’ that even the workers laying it thought it was real. In all bedrooms, as well as on the upper floor, and in the ‘Family Area’, there is a 230mm x 2400mm oak wood floor by Grato offering a natural finish and colour.
TRASLUZ has a complex lighting system with a mix of individual pendant and standing lights, ceiling spots, wall lights and indirect LED lights in a false ceiling. These are controlled either centrally by iPad and smartphone or via four button switches in all rooms – this ensures lighting is only used where people want it and when people want it. There is also an extensive exterior lighting plan for terraces, the entrance, pool and garden – again centrally controlled for efficiency.
TRASLUZ employs ultra-efficient underfloor heating alongside hot and cold air conditioning via outlets in the false ceiling. Each room has an individual controller so as not to waste energy. The heating is powered by a Daikin ‘Altherma’ heat pump which is used in combination with solar panels. An additional heat recovery system delivers a constant supply of fresh air to all bedrooms and bathrooms. Big covered terraces eliminate direct solar radiation.
Service water and rainwater is collected and recycled for the garden and toilet flushes. Meanwhile a solar system supports hot water production and sustains pool heating. Mallorca’s population is mindful of water conservation due to the limitations of being a hot island in the Mediterranean.
A 3-minute drive along the coast from TRASLUZ and you’ll find Port Adriano. Starting out as a humble unassuming 404 berth marina, a 90-million-euro revamp in 2012 by uber-successful eccentric French designer Philippe Starck has transformed Port Adriano into a 488 berth superyacht haven for yachts up to 110 metres. As famous for its events as its berths, to date it Port Adriano has hosted Earth Wind & Fire, Supertramp founder Roger Hodgson, Gloria Gaynor, Slovenian-Croatian cello duo 2Cellos, Buena Vista Social Club’s Omara Portuondo and Spanish flamenco singer Diego El Cigala, ELO spinoff The Orchestra, guitar maestro George Benson, 90s chart-toppers Ace of Base, Corona, Snap! and Whigfield, and Welsh heartthrob Sir Tom Jones in concert as well as short film contests, renowned illusionists, a cooking master class from a two-Michelin-starred chef, the annual Street Food Festival, and Sunset Yoga attended by upwards of 400 people each year. There’s also the ‘Best of Yachting’ boat show, The MultihullCup, Moto Club Calvià’s Trial Competition, Mallorca Classic Week and the marina’s signature Fun Parade which surprises unsuspecting visitors with carefully-choreographed comical sketches and whimsical mime acts.
In wider terms, the Ma-1 motorway delivers you straight to Palma in 20 minutes and just a little further to the international airport. Palma is the only city in the world that connects to every British airport - all 27. It also has more direct routes to Scandinavia and France than to Spain - and easyJet’s first and only tourist-only base. German low-cost Eurowings tripled its fleet in only three years and will operate 300 flights a week next year. A plane takes off or lands in Palma every 90 seconds throughout the summer and it is Europe’s most-connected airport with 182 connections throughout peak season.
Daikin heat pump with a high-efficiency solar heating system for hot water, air-conditioning and heating systems, integrated air-conditioning systems, underfloor heating, Schüco triple glazing with alarm sensors, Home automation (JUNG - KNX) via smartphone, elaborate and individual carpentry work (doors, built - in cabinets etc.), false ceilings and indirect LED lighting, bathrooms with fittings from Duravit, Dornbracht, Vola, double garage, infinity pool (5.5x14m) with salt cleaning and pre-installation for heating, an integrated shallow children's pool with jacuzzi function, chill out lounge, sun terrace with sea view, office, individually usable rooms for gym, home cinema, spa, office further bedroom, interior and exterior floors with Italian tiles (format 90x90), bedrooms with oak wood floor, installed alarm system, gas fireplace in the living room, outside kitchen and BBQ, large garden with 1,350 m² garden / lawn area, well studied interior design by renowned architect and interior designer