CAN GATER, the last available plot at Palma´s historic district. An urban void of 940 m2 where originally stood 2 historic listed buildings: the building known as Can Gater, where the street takes the name, dating back to the middle age with a gothic origin and important architecture elements from the XVI and XVII centuries, and the adjacent building from the XIX century at the Espíritu Santo St. Both buildings made a unique built combination which was unfortunately demolished in 2010.
Due to the historic relevance of the plot, the regulation instructs to literally rebuild the demolished buildings restoring the original elements of the structure. The design process starts with a thoughtful investigation of the missing building: from its origin in the XIV century to what was existing at the moment of the demolition. That investigation together with the analysis of the historical remains leads to the design of the building: the reconstruction of the original shell and core with all the historic elements such as patios, arches, tile floors, carpentry and ironmongery.
The result of the reconstruction is a complex building, chaotic somehow, not completely adequate for today standards. What seems a big problem it is an opportunity to create something unique, making unexpected spaces and elements of surprise: every dwelling is unique since it has to adapt to the existing, generating a balance between the old frame of the historic building and the commitment to modernity and comfort inside the houses. Each of the 16 different houses has its own identity, creating a unique collection.
The project recovers the historic patios, traditional elements of Palma Manor houses, restoring and connecting them. They are the heart of the building and connect all the public areas from the street to the inner garden and the indoor pool-spa, and to all the individual dwellings.
The material palette is carefully put together due to the history of the buildings: local materials, emphasising the history of the building and the Mediterranean essence. A simple selection of natural materials is continued throughout the project. It combines the restoration of historical elements such as wooden carpentry and mouldings, stone and wood structural elements, plaster mouldings and wood coffered ceilings, mortar and lime cladding, ceramic, stone and wooden floors and wrought ironwork among many others. These materials are combined with the introduction of new noble materials such as antique bronze pieces, local stones.
Even tough sustainable strategies are not always possible in historic buildings, the building maximizes them, particularly the passive elements such as thick thermal insulation and cross ventilation through the patios, all that together with an efficient air condition system with heat recovery. Completion date, spring 2023.