Centred around Plaza Gomila, close to the city’s harbour, El Terreno is among Palma’s most historic neighbourhoods. Until the 1990s, it was a cultural hub – home to many of the city’s famous artists and writers and known for its nightlife, with famous performances by musicians such as Jimi Hendrix, Ray Charles, and Tom Jones in its bohemian nightclubs. However, it has recently seen a long period of neglect and decline. The Fluxà Family, owners of the Mallorca-based Camper shoe brand, purchased a series of neighbouring plots around the Plaza and asked MVRDV and GRAS to develop a renewal plan that echoed Camper’s philosophy of combining heritage with innovation and creativity.
The seven diverse buildings, each executed in a different colour and material, add 60 rental homes in a variety of styles and sizes intended for local inhabitants who work in the surrounding area, as well as additional commercial space. The many bright colours, emphasised by the Mediterranean sun, advertise the vibrancy and rejuvenation of the neighbourhood. Each of the buildings brings not only its own character, but also unique amenities, with facilities such as restaurants and bars being public while amenities such as pools are accessible to residents of all buildings within the plan.
Five of the buildings of GOMILA MALLORCA are already under construction. The largest building, at the heart of the ensemble, is the Gomila Center, a renovation of a 1979 design by architect Pere Nicolau. Also included in the first phase is Las Fabri-Casas, a set of blue row houses with a saw-tooth roof, the red townhouses known as Las Casitas, a sustainable apartment building built in rammed earth and, directly adjacent to Plaza Gomila, the green building simply named La Plaza, which transforms an existing building. A later phase will add two further buildings to the ensemble: the yellow Casa Virginia, and a small construction next to the Gomila Center, both renovations of existing neighbourhood buildings.
The Gomila buildings have been designed according to Passive Haus principles, with high thermal efficiency and passive climate control measures such as shutters and cross ventilation to reduce energy needs. To utilize the many sun hours of Mallorca, solar panels are added to rooftops while heat recovery systems further reduce the buildings’ energy consumption. Materials will be sourced locally wherever possible, reducing the carbon produced by the construction.