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Los Amigos

A horizontal manifesto in which to dream, play and create friendship.


In the heart of Ibiza there is an ancient plain, scribbled with low drystone walls and dusty caminos, peppered with whitewashed wells and Moorish irrigation channels. On that plain sits a house – brutal, boxy, unapologetic. Almost entirely cast from ash-blonde concrete, at first glance its design seems at odds with the Arcadian nature of the landscape. It appears solitary, adrift on a wind-whipped prairie and bleached bone-white by the sun. But look closer and a subtle co-dependence becomes clear. The house may contrast with its immediate surroundings, but every element, every window, every corner of the property is utterly defined by the horizon.

Los Amigos was built in 2014, a sprawling five-bed home with an additional self- contained annexe. The main building is low, long, poised upon the red earth. The two distinct ends of the home are separated by an internal patio so fundamental to the build that it appears as though the house was rent apart to accommodate it. Within this patio grows an olive tree, its branches outstretched toward the light that pours in above.

The concrete walls of the home are punctuated by glass, with windows appearing on an almost monolithic scale. In the near sightline are olives, carobs, clumps of fragrant Mediterranean herbs. The medium view is fractured, intermittent objects coming into focus – a lone poplar standing sentry on the plain; a windmill, turning slowly in a lazy breeze. Far beyond that, the eye must travel over fields and forest to the mountains, whose jagged silhouette encloses the plain. It is a depth of field quite unique to this location.

Inside the house itself are five independent structures – buildings within a building, if you will – whose appearance defines the personality of the house. The structures were created using a poured concrete technique known as shuttering, during which wet concrete is poured into pre-made wooden casings and left to set. Once the concrete hardens, the framework is removed, revealing a unique imprint of wooden planks upon the surface. The overall appearance is fragile, almost ephemeral. We are left with the memory of wood, captured at a moment in time. Any final irregularities are simply part of the process’ appeal.

These five buildings, with their rustic leitmotif, house the bathrooms, spaces of almost monastic simplicity whose vernacular is one of textures – shuttered concrete, pebbles, polished cement –, all of it drenched in the light that flows from the glass ceilings. Showers become mirrors of themselves – one indoors, one out, separated by a silently pivoting glass door. This is Romano’s signature at work – a seamless shifting from interior to exterior, darkness to light, sun to shade. Nowhere is this more apparent at Los Amigos than in the grand exterior terrace. Stretching the length of the building and parallel to the creamy concrete pool, the decked terrace reflects the linear pattern of the wooden planks. Above it, Romano’s lightweight steel framework hovers, weightless as a cicada, extending the tentacles of the house far out into the scrubland. At the framework’s edge, a more organic fabrication begins – a living canopy composed of interwoven branches. If this addition seems incongruous, it’s not – for hundreds of years, ibicencos have planted ramadas (structures made of vines and creepers) to create additional shade around their doorways. If Romano’s steel structure represents the traditional finca porxo, then the ramada is a natural addition. Romano’s architecture is always multi-layered and it’s clear that these anthropological references are anything but ambiguous: with its steel framework and concrete casings, ramada canopy and ancient olive trees, there’s an underlying sense of agriculture, of industrialism to Los Amigos. Set in a field, amid centuries-old farmland, it is perhaps a very contemporary kind of almacén.

Date of construction
Jaime Romano
Miguel Ángel Sánchez
Roberta Jurado
Barbara Boccara
Jaume Guasch
Jaime Romano
Rosa Rey @Box3 (interior designer)
Vicent Serra (technical architect)
Jesús Rodríguez @ Marí-Balaguer Arquitectos (structural engineer)
General contractor and suppliers
Balafia de Baix (general contractor)
Box 3 (kitchen, bathrooms and cabinets)
Pitiusa Instaladora (MEP installations)
Industrias Mairata (aluminum joinery)
ELLE Decor, July 2017
AD China, June 2021
ELLE Decor, June 2021