MVRDV and GRA complete phase one of the gomila project

MVRDV and GRA complete phase one of the gomila project

MVRDV and GRAS Reynés Arquitectos have completed the construction of the first five of seven buildings that make up Project Gomila in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. Together, these lively structures seem to transform the area around Plaza Gomila in the neighborhood of El Terreno by boasting their individual character through distinct colors, materials and rooflines. By adding a total of 60 new homes of various sizes and types, as well as new commercial space, Project Gomila is already well underway in revitalizing the area as a vibrant, green and sustainable residential area.

MVRDV + GRAS elevates Mallorcan neighborhoods with a collection of vibrant building designs
Project Gomila from above | photo © Jannes Linders

a colorful mix of residential and commercial areas

Centered around Plaza Gomila, near the city’s port, El Terreno is a historic neighborhood in Palma that in the 60s and 70s was famous for its nightlife, with famous performances by musicians such as Jimi Hendrix, Ray Charles and Tom Jones in its bohemian nightclubs. After a long period of neglect and decline, the Fluxà family, owners of Majorca-based shoe brand Camper, bought a number of neighboring plots around the Plaza and set in motion a regeneration plan that reflected Camper’s philosophy of combining heritage with innovation and creativity.

The five buildings completed in phase one by MVRDV (see more here) and GRAS (here) includes the Gomila Center, which forms the heart of the neighborhood. A renovation of a 1979 design by the architect Pere Nicolau, this white building has a spacious patio on the ground floor, with a restaurant, office space and apartments rising around this central feature in a series of staircases and balconies. Adjacent to the Gomila Center are the red townhouses known as Las Casitas, which are topped by a landscape of roof terraces that allow neighboring residents to socialize.

MVRDV + GRAS elevates Mallorcan neighborhoods with a collection of vibrant building designs
Gomila Center, next to the townhouses of Las Casitas | photo © Daria Scagliola

On the other side of the Gomila Center, located on a prominent street corner, is Las Fabri-Casas, a set of terraced houses with sawtooth roofs complete with blue ceramic facades. Tucked away behind this is a low-carbon apartment built from compacted earth blocks, with a communal rooftop swimming pool overlooking nearby Bellver Castle. Finally, across the street in Plaza Gomila itself is the green La Plaza building, a renovated building that hosts a revival of the historic Bellver bar, offices and a communal roof overlooking the bay and the cathedral.

MVRDV + GRAS elevates Mallorcan neighborhoods with a collection of vibrant building designs
Las Casitas Townhouse on the Roof | photo © Daria Scagliola

The Project Gomila buildings are energy neutral, using many of the same principles developed for the Passivhaus standard, including high thermal efficiency and passive climate control measures such as shutters and cross ventilation to reduce energy demand. To make use of the many hours of sunshine on Mallorca, the roofs are host to solar panels, while heat recovery systems further reduce the buildings’ energy consumption. Many of the materials are sourced locally, which reduces the carbon produced by the construction.

When it comes to urbanism, the concept revolves around the diversity of buildings,’ adds MVRDV founder Winy Maas. ‘Where some of the designs are more suitable for family homes, others are more suitable for apartments for singles or couples; where some buildings are fully residential, others bring commercial functions into the mix. This diversity of people and spaces will help bring back El Terreno’s lost life.’

MVRDV + GRAS elevates Mallorcan neighborhoods with a collection of vibrant building designs
interior of the red terraced houses | photo © Daria Scagliola

“The Gomila project activates a new centrality in Palma, a new meeting and reference point not only for the people of the neighborhood but for all the citizens,” adds Guillermo Reynés, founder of GRAS Reynés Arquitectos. ‘

According to MVRDV and GRAS, the project has been very well received by the local population, bringing back good memories that the Palmesanos had of the area. The following phases of the project will add two more buildings to the ensemble: the yellow Casa Virginia, and a small villa next to the Gomila Center, both renovations of existing neighborhood buildings.

MVRDV + GRAS elevates Mallorcan neighborhoods with a collection of vibrant building designs
interior of the red terraced houses | photo © Daria Scagliola

MVRDV + GRAS uplifting Mallorcan neighborhoods with a collection of vibrant building designs
Las Fabri-Casas, a set of townhouses with blue ceramic facades | photo © Daria Scagliola

MVRDV + GRAS uplifting Mallorcan neighborhoods with a collection of vibrant building designs
Las Fabri-Casas has a sawtooth roof | photo © Jannes Linders

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