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Key To A Millennial Tradition

15.12.20

Farmhouses in Ibiza are as unique as snowflakes, although each shares components and uses the same materials. The elements of a classic finca have long influenced the Blakstad Design Consultants style and are used to inform today’s designs, putting a contemporary twist on tradition to create stylish, comfortable and functional homes.

For millennia, Ibiza was an agricultural society made up of small family holdings. Houses were built in harmony with the landscape – plot shape, the nature of the farm and the size of the family dictated the initial design. The basic design module is the cube, and further cubes were added as required by the family’s growth. There is an architectural grammar to the finca, yet builders never worked from written plans. Techniques, rules and styles were passed down orally from generation to generation.

The first room built was the porxo – a rectangular space with thick walls and south-facing double doors. Houses with wider porxos used a central pillar or arches for support. The largest room in the house, the porxo was a sparsely furnished, multi-use space. The doors were often the only source of light and here, intricate work such as embroidery, shoemaking or sewing was undertaken. A set of small chairs lined the walls with a low table used for social occasions or as a workbench.

Many porxos also featured a sacred wall niche for offerings to the gods and later, to store families’ precious items. Niches would often be bordered with a fresco of ancient geometric designs depicting the goddess Tanit. Doorways were considered a point of exit and entry between esoteric states, decorated with images of the sun, moon, stars and frequently a six-petal flower – a variant of the Semitic Star of David.

All rooms came off this central space, with the classic home consisting of the long porxo, two small bedrooms at the rear and the kitchen at a right angle. Occasionally the porxo would be the only room, until the couple required more space, but even these smaller spaces featured a domed bread oven, many of which can be seen today as whitewashed cupolas to the side of the house. The more prosperous the farm, the more rooms were added, such as bedrooms, drying lofts, animal pens and storage rooms.

The traditions of Ibiza’s master builders are evident in many of Blakstad’s designs. The materials are modern, the layouts more suitable for contemporary life and rooms flooded with natural light, but the soul of the tradition remains. Visit https://blakstadibiza.com/ to view the portfolio.

For more information contact Rolf Blakstad on rolf@blakstadibiza.com or visit https://blakstadibiza.com/

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