Home Architecture A Hidden Gem in Mallorca: Sa Taronja’s Architectural Rebirth

A Hidden Gem in Mallorca: Sa Taronja’s Architectural Rebirth

BEEF ARCHITEKTI created a cultural oasis at the foot of Serra de Tramuntana, Mallorca.

Have you ever come across a place that just seems to ignite your creativity? That’s exactly how I felt when I found out about Sa Taronja, an amazing architectural project in the lovely town of Andratx, Mallorca, designed by BEEF ARCHITEKTI. Tucked at the base of the stunning Serra de Tramuntana mountains, Sa Taronja has a history as colorful and dynamic as the island itself. Picture this: a busy chicken farm transformed into a haven for artists! That’s the incredible transformation Sa Taronja went through in the late 1990s. A German painter named Hartmut Usadel saw the potential in this unusual space and turned it into his art studio. But he had bigger plans. He envisioned Sa Taronja as a hub for creativity, a place where artists from all over the world could come together, create, and showcase their work. Three huge chicken coops, each 80 meters long, were reborn as studios, a gallery, and even a small theater! Can you believe that the Berlin Symphony Orchestra once performed in a former chicken coop? Absolutely magical.

BEEF ARCHITEKTI created a cultural oasis at the foot of Serra de Tramuntana, Mallorca.
BEEF ARCHITEKTI created a cultural oasis at the foot of Serra de Tramuntana, Mallorca. Photography by Tomeu Canyellas.

Following Hartmut’s passing, the torch was carried by his friend Tina Horne, who ensured Sa Taronja’s artistic spirit continued to thrive. In 2017, a new chapter began, with a new owner committed to preserving Sa Taronja’s legacy. The challenge? To honor the site’s fascinating past while breathing new life into it.

The project unfolded in two phases. The first phase, recently completed, involved restoring a 300-year-old stone house on the edge of Andratx. This charming residence, once a support space for the cultural center, has been transformed back into a welcoming guest house with four apartments and a manager’s office. Stepping into this historic gem feels like stepping back in time. The team at BEEF Architekti meticulously stripped away modern additions, revealing the home’s original stone structure in all its glory. They championed local craftsmanship, using traditional materials like Mares stone for any new additions.

But here’s what truly warmed my heart: the focus on preserving Sa Taronja’s unique character. The architects incorporated artifacts discovered during the renovation – an antique table and chairs, beautiful Mallorcan glass pieces, and even art from the center’s golden era. These treasures whisper stories of the past, adding a layer of warmth and authenticity to the space.

The second phase is focused on the former chicken coops, soon to be transformed once more. The plan is to celebrate the industrial architecture, characterized by its unique structure of steel L-profiles. These elements will be lovingly restored, while the outer cladding will be replaced with a modern update. The focus here is on functionality, with a flexible system for utilities that allows the spaces to adapt to future needs.

The future of Sa Taronja looks bright. With the completion of both phases, this exceptional site is poised to reclaim its place as a cultural landmark. Imagine it – a vibrant hub buzzing with creativity, attracting local and international artists alike. Sa Taronja’s story is a beautiful reminder that inspiration can bloom in the most unexpected places. And who knows, maybe one day you’ll find yourself wandering its historic halls, soaking up the island’s magic and the enduring legacy of artistic expression. The team at BEEF Architekti meticulously stripped away modern additions, revealing the home’s original stone structure in all its glory. They championed local craftsmanship, using traditional materials like Mares stone for any new additions.


All images © by BEEF ARCHITEKTI and Tomeu Canyellas. Check out more Architecture projects from all over the world on WE AND THE COLOR.

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