A boutique hotel, Can Bordoy -Grand House and Garden- offers 24 rooms with a magnificent garden, swimming pool, spa and panoramic terrace located in La Lonja neighborhood in the heart of historic Palma de Mallorca. The property was originally a 2,500-square-meter abandoned building that was heavily modified throughout its more than 500 years of history. It has been envisioned and developed by businessman Mikael Hall and his family. The architecture and interior design have been carried out by OHLAB, an office directed by architects Paloma Hernaiz and Jaime Oliver.
Architecture and Interior Design: OHLAB / Paloma Hernaiz and Jaime Oliver
OHLAB Instagram: @ohlab_architecture
OHLAB Website: www.ohlab.net
OHLAB team: Paloma Hernaiz and Jaime Oliver with Rebeca Lavín, Silvia Morais, Laura Colomer, Amaia Barazar, Manuela Sánchez, Lara Ortega, Eusebiu Spac, Tomislav Konjevod, Eleni Oikonomaki, Katerina Kotsampasi, Nikola Kozhuharov, Stela Dineva, Rosa Fuentes, Joana Aguilera, Amalia Stavropoulou.
Project Management: OHLAB, Jorge Ramón (building engineer), Luis Rivas (building engineer).
Building engineers and Quantity surveyors: Jorge Ramón and Luis Rivas. Team: Isabel Sánchez, Jaume Miralles.
Structure engineer: Hima Estructuras
MEP Engineering: Ingenio Consultores
Landscape: Salva Cañís (master gardener), OHLAB (landscape masterplan)
Acoustical: Tafor Consulting
Archaeologist: Elvira González
Commissioned Art work: Pedro Oliver
Graphic Design: Studio Roses
Photos: José Hevia
Client: Mikael Hall
The proposed program is intended to evoke the experience of visiting a house rather than a hotel. Therefore, clients meet at the entrance hall of the house instead of at a restaurant; rooms and living rooms are like those found in old houses; and so on. The project carefully preserves the romantic and decadent atmosphere found in the building and contrasts it with interventions from different epochs. OHLAB’s project is a respectful intervention that maintains traces of the past as well as avoiding a false recovery of a glorious past that the house has never had.
The OHLAB team was inspired by the principles of traditional Japanese art Kintsugi, which uses precious materials such as gold dust to repair broken ceramics. The architects sought a project that would not hide the heterodox eclecticism of the existing building but instead would conciliate and celebrate its different layers of history. The result is a house that clearly highlights its new interventions while reconciling with its past.
Architectural strategies were designed and developed throughout the building as a collection of distinctive contemporary interventions in dialogue with the existing building. Large velvet curtains disguise new bathrooms in rooms, creating a scenography where the bathroom happens to be the new set; instead of hiding this new element, its use is celebrated. On the ground floor, a green corridor of vegetation invades dining rooms connecting garden with courtyard and street. In main staircase, skylight is flooded with water becoming a small pool with transparent bottom that creates play of light through water flooding staircase with caustic reflections. These are some strategies that make possible new use of house and dialogue with building’s history.
The furniture is an important design element in the project. The eclectic nature of the architecture is reflected in the mix of antique and contemporary furniture, with pieces from very different eras and origins. Antique pieces live alongside bespoke designs by OHLAB, including beds and bars for all rooms. The bespoke designs include a collection of pieces created by OHLAB specifically for Can Bordoy; classic paintings from the 17th to 19th centuries from the owner’s private collection hang throughout, combined with a collection created by artist Pedro Oliver ad-hoc for Can Bordoy where he plays with personal and determined strokes superimposed on classic patterns reminiscent of the history of the house.
Finally, the Spa Experience is located on the building foundations. Surrounded by original stone walls from the 12th century, brutalist structural reinforcements of exposed concrete, and delicate natural stone finishes, visitors start their journey of water sensations at different temperatures following a millenary Mediterranean bathing culture.