Sa Taronja is a hidden gem nestled in the charming town of Andratx, located at the foothills of the majestic Serra de Tramuntana mountains on the island of Mallorca. This unique site, once the largest chicken farm in the Balearic Islands during the 1960s, has been transformed over the decades into a vibrant cultural center with a fascinating history.

Originally established by the Burgos family, the farm gained a new lease on life in 1997 when it was purchased by German painter Hartmut Usadel. Captivated by the potential of the space, Usadel converted the farm into his personal art studio and subsequently into an informal gallery and cultural hub. The three original 80-meter-long chicken coops were ingeniously repurposed into art studios, a gallery, and even a small theater, hosting illustrious events such as a concert by the Berlin Symphony Orchestra. After Usadel’s passing, his friend Tina Horne managed Sa Taronja until 2017, maintaining its status as a cultural haven.

Recognizing the challenge of preserving and enhancing such a storied site, BEEF ARCHITEKTI embarked on a two-phase project to restore and revitalize Sa Taronja, ensuring its legacy endures for future generations.

BEEF ARCHITEKTI is revitalizing Sa Taronja in Andratx, Mallorca
BEEF ARCHITEKTI is revitalizing Sa Taronja in Andratx, Mallorca. Photography by Tomeu Canyellas.

Phase One: Restoring a Historic Stone House

The first phase of the project centered on the meticulous restoration of a 300-year-old stone townhouse on the edge of Andratx, recently completed to great acclaim. Originally used as a residence before serving as a support space for the cultural center’s culinary activities, the house was transformed back into a guest house featuring four apartments and an office, known locally as “oficina.”

With a focus on authenticity and local craftsmanship, modern additions were stripped away to reveal the house’s original stone structure. The communal kitchen area was enhanced with a larger opening in the northern façade, allowing natural light to flood the space and creating a seamless connection with the street. Original wooden elements were reinforced for stability while retaining their historical character, and locally sourced Mares stone was used for new additions. Outside, a simple wooden lattice was introduced to create a consistent shading pattern, harmonizing with the house’s overall aesthetic and linking it to the existing patio area.

Artifacts discovered throughout the site, including an antique table and chairs, typical Mallorcan glass, and art pieces from Sa Taronja’s cultural heyday, were thoughtfully incorporated into the interior design, further embedding the house in its rich historical context.

Phase Two: Revitalizing the Iconic Halls

The second phase of the project focuses on the renovation of the three long halls, previously chicken coops and later artist studios and galleries. Plans for their renovation are being meticulously developed in consultation with the local community. The aim is to preserve the site’s industrial heritage while enhancing its functionality and adaptability for future cultural endeavors.

The halls’ original industrial architecture, characterized by a delicate prefabricated structure made of steel L-profiles, will be restored. The modular outer cladding will be replaced with a new version, and the window layout will be slightly adjusted to improve functionality. Inside, a flexible system for utilities will be introduced, allowing the spaces to be easily adapted for various uses, ensuring Sa Taronja remains a dynamic and versatile cultural venue.

BEEF ARCHITEKTI’s vision is clear: through the thoughtful reconstruction and revitalization of Sa Taronja, this historic site will once again emerge as a cultural landmark. It will serve as a beacon of culture both locally and internationally, honoring its past while paving the way for a vibrant and sustainable future. Sa Taronja is poised to reclaim its status as a generator of artistic and cultural expression, continuing to inspire and attract artists from around the world.

All images c by BEEF ARCHITEKTI and Tomeu Canyellas. Feel free to find other inspiring architecture and interior design projects on WE AND THE COLOR.