First edition of the international architecture festival
Open House is an international architecture festival that offers live tours of buildings, estates and housing projects that are normally closed to the public. The stories behind these spaces are told, with the aim of gaining an understanding of the city through its architecture and urbanism.
Open House Palma is a non-profit, solidarity initiative, a member of Open House Worldwide, an international network of 50 organisations. The network already includes other Spanish cities such as Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao and Malaga, where festivals and dialogues on architecture, design and neighbourhoods are organised every year.
On the 5th of November 2021, the first edition of the Open House Palma Festival was inaugurated and held over a whole weekend, with the mission of raising awareness of the heritage and architecture of Palma de Mallorca. A fantastic opportunity to open up the city to its inhabitants and expose buildings and share all those details and anecdotes that often go unnoticed.
Open Days of architecture in Palma de Mallorca
More than 70 buildings and spaces, usually closed or hidden from the citizens, are open to the public free of charge. Moving away from the tourist area of Palma, extending to all the neighbourhoods, with the purpose to showcase the best examples of architecture and design. The Teatre Principal, the Portopí lighthouse, the Gran Hotel, the Oceanogràfic de Balears Centre, public housing projects, the Son Espases hospital, the Palma Tennis Club and the S’Escorxador are just a small sample of what could be visited during these days.
Apart from the visits, other activities are offered, such as the Open talks, with dialogues between experts in architecture. The Open walks are guided routes around Palma that cover topics such as architecture, urban planning and urban landscape, or focus on the work of a specific architect. Open bike, on the other hand, offers guided bicycle routes to discover the architecture of Palma de Mallorca. There is also a workshop for children in the Open familyactivity.
It has been a great experience to participate in the biggest architectural festival in Mallorca, and we have taken the opportunity to visit modern and emblematic architecture in Palma de Mallorca.
The Hotel Nou Baleares is a recently refurbished hotel with a careful decoration inspired by the colonial era. It is located in a historic building classified as rationalist with modernist touches. It was built in 1927, as the family home of the Guasp Quetglas family, who used part of the ground floor for the manufacturing of hydraulic tiles.
An important building for modern architecture in Palma de Mallorca is the congress centre, Palacio de Congresos. The architect in charge, Francisco Mangado, won the National Architecture Prize in 2017 for the design of this project. Mangado has been inspired by three characteristic aspects of Palma to shape the project: the waves of the sea, the sunlight, and the fine sand of its beaches. The materials used for the construction of the building stand out, for example, the Alusion™️ architectural panels that are manufactured by injecting air into molten aluminium, which contains a fine dispersion of ceramic particles.
The Fundació Miró Mallorca has three unique buildings that constitute one of the most valuable architectural ensembles in Mallorca. During Open House Palma, visits were offered to the Sert building and the Moneo building. The painting studio was requested by the famous painter Joan Miró to his friend Josep Lluís Sert, one of the most renowned modern Catalan architects. The Moneo building, on the other hand, is the foundation’s most recent construction and was built between 1987 and 1993 by the architect Rafel Moneo, seeking a design that was in dialogue with Sert’s studio and, at the same time, concealed the surrounding buildings.
Visiting the social public housing projects on the streets Salvador Espriu and Ignasi Barraquer was very interesting. These are innovative projects by Carles Oliver Barceló, an architect from Mallorca, author of numerous residential rehabilitation projects on the islands of Formentera and Mallorca. Oliver proposes new construction approaches, focusing on environmental, social and economic sustainability. The projects he has developed have received numerous national and international awards, including the climate change adaptation project “Life Reusing Posidonia” in Formentera.