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Rustic Hideaway

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February 1, 2009

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An infinite line running down from the top of Puig Major, Mallorca’s highest mountain, hits the finca’s façade in the middle. In fact, the whole property is a masterpiece of geometry and symmetry. Only 100 metres in front of the entrance, a mountain of the Tramuntana soars upwards, with a rock on its top that resembles Australia’s Ayers Rock. The real estate subject of this month’s abcMallorca is part of an amazing natural spectacle. Whoever lives here is spoiled by an unlimited calmness, an antidote to the hectic city. One can even play the role of an organic farmer on this plot covered with almond, olive and carob trees. The inhabitant can experience the joy of seeing almond blossom in his own garden.

There’s no doubt that this harmoniously arranged autochthonal manor in Mallorca’s west has plenty of scope for dreams. Its luxury isn’t ostentatious, but that of a plentiful natural lifestyle. Above all, the property offers a lot of space. The main building has 950 sqm of living area, including seven bedrooms and eight bathrooms. The whole plot – 30,000 square metres – is circled by a paved path leading to a private parking place large enough for at least 50 vehicles. The finca´s pool measures 13 x 6 metres and – illuminated at night – provides a fantastic swimming environment in the countryside.

It is the perfect fantasy finca for any Briton or German who wants to enjoy the rural Mallorcan lifestyle. Although lacking heritage, this replica of an original rustic manor is built out of massive stones. The house builders – members of the dynasty which owns the Austrian gemstone specialist Swarovski – place value on solid construction, authentic architecture and colouring. The colours of various walls and floors range between carmine and beige, reminiscent of the different hues of Mallorca’s soil.

Construction began in 1996 and took over five years. A high-ranking Spanish real estate professional, who bought the property in 2006, became the first inhabitant. He decided to completely renovate and expand on the original garden, design and furnishing. The goal was an oasis of calmness for the owner; somewhere he could escape the pressures of his hectic job. He achieved it but, due to professional changes, is now moving on. The top star of Mallorcan decorators, Toni Obrador, lead the remodelling works, fulfilling the expectations of the current owner and achieving a symmetry in the whole estate.

The garden was redesigned by Joan Nadal, a local landscape architect, famous for his works in the Tramuntana mountains. Almond and olive trees, rosemary, lavender and other ornamental shrubs are now logically arranged, as in a botanic garden. In spite of this, only modest watering is necessary, even in hot summer months. Moroccan specialists helped to build Roman-style access balconies, arches and walls out of tuff.

Joan Binimelis was responsible for the carpentry works inside the house. He used imported American wood for ceiling joists and Scandinavian pine. Substantial oak doors at the entrance provide rustic charm. The message of all these elements is an understated concept of natural living in a high quality surrounding – without pretension. Even the air conditioning is natural. Apart from the relevant technical equipment, a system of pipes in the foundations creates an insulating bed which works as an air dehumidifier. The whole building is fitted with underfloor oil heating. Birgit Müller (www.birgitmueller.com) and Teka are the brands which guarantee outstanding kitchen equipment. Antique cupboards imported from Paris decorate the living room. On the first floor, two wide closets, manufactured by Joan Binimelis, mean that winter and summer clothes can be separately stored.

Rooms on the ground floor include: living room, dining room (on the terrace and inside), kitchen, and laundry. On the second floor can be found the master bedroom, nursery and two huge bathrooms, one for “him” and one for “her” – to avoid queues outside the door in the mornings! The shower cubicles are covered with marble.

The basic idea behind the owner’s remodelling and decoration works, which lasted almost two years, was “to harmonize the finca with its surroundings”. The three basic materials – stone, wood and glass – fulfilled that intention. The finca houses separate visitors’ quarters attached to the main building. It contains several bedrooms, bathrooms and a living room on two different floors. Visitors can feel totally independent in this area but still access the main building via the upper balcony, or by crossing the Mediterranean garden from the ground floor. Currently a modern gym is being installed on the ground floor, facing the parking area in front of the finca.

The surprise of this rural idyll is that the secluded estate is so conveniently located in terms of travel. It´s only 15 minutes’ drive from the centre of Palma and the airport. The only thing missing is the celebrated sea view. But the owner knows that it´s not necessary: “I have many Mallorcan friends who’ve told me that, in former times, the lords used to live in two separate homes – one in the countryside and one near the sea. The drier climate of the island’s interior promotes good health. And even for wealthy Mallorcan people it was not desirable to possess a property directly on the waterfront.”


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