Kimpton Hotel by GRAS Reynés Arquitectos tops out in Mallorca

06/04/2021

The Santa Ponsa Country Club is, as its name suggests, is a social and sports club located in Santa Ponsa, Mallorca. It is a benchmark in the area, a meeting point for local society, which closed its doors in 2014 in order to undertake an ambitious renovation project.

The process began with the construction of a new tennis complex, home of the WTA Mallorca Championship since 2015. A new sports-building with 16 grass, clay, and hard surface tennis courts. The construction of these first facilities allowed the subsequent development of the next phase of the project: KIMPTON MALLORCA.

The Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group, LLC is a San Francisco, California, based hotel and restaurant brand owned by the Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG). Founded in 1981 by Bill Kimpton, the group was the largest chain of boutique hotels in the United States in 2011. The completion of KIMPTON MALLORCA is expected in 2022.

The vision of the project includes the total renovation of the existing social and sports complex, together with a hotel extension in 2 new buildings. The operation creates a large sports leisure complex, unique in Mallorca since it combines: a newly built 78-room hotel, a social club with 3 restaurants, conference rooms, multifunctional space for events, gym, spa, indoor pool, beauty centre, a large garden with 2 outdoor pools and a first-class tennis sports complex.

The KIMPTON MALLORCA’s plot is defined by its large garden around which the buildings are arranged: The original building body where the common areas of the hotel and public programs are located together with the exclusive members' club, and the new “block” buildings with the rooms. Both buildings embrace and hide a large inner garden for the exclusive use of the clients.

The whole complex becomes a Kimpton “Mallorcan Sanctuary”, a collection of Mallorca landscapes and traditions put together in a unique resort. The old country club building is the heart of the project: an old possesió, a typical Mallorca manor house. Around it, as water features, the garden pond, a rectangular pool similar to the ones used as agriculture storages in the countryside, and the beach-pool, a sand pool, a piece of the Mallorca coast in the gardens.

The new buildings, the blocks, are designed around a central courtyard, re-interpreting the typical Majorcan houses with a clastra (courtyard): A private, hidden outdoor space, an element of surprise that expands the space providing ventilation and illumination. These new volumes are materialized seeking a contrast with the existing buildings. This contrast highlights the new architecture while emphasizing the memory of the old building. The two new buildings are connected to the existing building with a tunnel below ground level, and a footbridge above ground. The materiality of the new buildings spreads out over the new volumes that need to be created in the old building in order to place the reception. In this way, the new appearance "colonizes" the existing building.

The 79 rooms are arranged around the courtyard to provide the corridor with ventilation and natural lighting, something very unusual in hotels. The concept of the room is unique, as all the rooms have a side terrace, instead of the usual front one, thus creating a secluded exterior space through which the bathroom is ventilated and lit. The bathrooms are all exterior and have access to the terrace through the shower, allowing the indoor shower to become an outdoor summer shower. The outdoor space is as important as the indoor space, as the Mediterranean climate allows intensive use of the terraces for 6 months.

The connection between the new and existing buildings creates a plaza (square) where the access and hotel reception are located. A large plant pergola marks the entrance and creates a covered "drop off" space through which the hotel is accessed.

The existing building where the reception is placed has been completely redesigned in search of a new layout of open spaces connected to each other that gradually resolves the different parts of the program. The program and the flow of people are complicated since 2 users are combined: the hotel client and the hotel member.

This way, after the reception, the bars and restaurants follow one another as one moves towards the club area, maintaining the original access. Following the club reception, the congress rooms, the spa area, and the indoor swimming pool are arranged. To avoid a hotel client having to cross all the restaurants to access the water area, a direct connection is made from the hotel reception to the first floor where the gym and beauty centre are located and from there, direct access to the spa is provided on the lower floor. A complex program and distribution are successfully solved by the complete re-arrangement of the indoor spaces.

All these indoor spaces are open to the "jewel" of the project: the Mediterranean garden and the 2 swimming pools. The project offers beach type swimming pool for relaxation and a sports pool. 

Sustainability is important in the project. All the roofs of the new buildings are covered with solar panels that provide electricity for the complex. Water is a scarce resource in Mallorca. The roofs of the project and the terraces have a system for collecting the rainwater. The water is collected at a 500 m3 tank. The collected water is re-used for the hotel and for the garden, making the project almost autonomous. Not only that, the grey waters, coming from showers and sinks are also stored in a tank, purified, and therefore recycled and put back in the system to flush the toilettes and to irrigate the gardens, which are designed with autonomous species with low demanding water conditions.

Passive sustainable systems are also put in place. Façade is completely insulated from the outside, with no thermal bridges. The SATE panels used for insulation have a thickness of 10 cm. The ventilated facades also have an insulation of 8cm. High protection low emission glass is installed in the windows. The passive house designed facades and roof, combined with the AC system with heat exchange and supported with the solar panels, allow the hotel run at a very low energy demand.

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