Rehabilitation is a theme that consistently surges across Ibiza. Generation upon generation have been lured to the island. To find respite, replenish the old, and then resurge again.
Staring out to sea from the natural horseshoe-shaped port of San Miquel, Sa Ferradura curves onto and pierces the horizon like an island itself. When Jaime Romano first stepped across the small peninsula of Pas de S’Illa – the sandy bridge that leads to this lush isle of rock – the architect encountered a house almost adrift. Years of extensions and additions had seen the home stray from its original design. A tropical-themed garden seemed to flout every natural law ordained by the Mediterranean climate. It was in this moment, as Romano imagined a more sustainable future tethered to a more balanced past, that the vision, effort, and spirited adventure to restore this islet back to its natural essence was born.
The scale of renewal allowed grand ideas to be explored and repeated right down to the smallest of details. The first phase involved stripping back the overloaded structure to its more functional form. The house’s initial idea of a Roman Impluvium was rekindled, removing part of the roof to liberate the central interior patio and harness the power of sunlight and rainwater. More than a private place for pause, this uncovered courtyard now cycles airflow and movement throughout the home.
Stone, reinforced wood, and large tiles were applied to the floors, windows, and walls, providing new layers of textural and tonal harmony. Outside, the ancient Roman vernacular was explored further, fitting deeply set, slatted beams across windows; recurring, vertical armour that affords privacy without restricting the calming sea views and inviting an abundance of sunshine into every room.
Mindful of the way summer homes are used – especially the peace of mind they ought to offer –, careful attention was invested in designing small, bespoke fixtures as well as smooth, continuous surfaces to ensure a timeless, soothing effect.
In the bathrooms, corrugated Italian carrara marble absorbs and deflects the light, while aged oak adds strength and smooth finishing to doors, panels and cabinets. A customised state- of-the-art service kitchen looks onto a large 30-seater al fresco dining table designed with summer entertaining in mind. While specially-sourced paints fortify the entire house with an impeccable finish, ensuring the home’s Balearic-palette patina remains resistant to the relentless force of the ocean. Every challenge, both present and probable, has been given thought and afforded a solution designed to withstand the test of time.
Sa Ferradura is a place of both movement and pause. Inside, the circular layout of larger rooms lead onto smaller passageways, while several staircases encourage a sense of continuous flow. Outside, the garden is interwoven with myriad paths of grass and stone, with some leading all the way down to the sea rocks. Under the foliage, plenty of little corners provide secluded corners to stop, sit, and be still. Up on the roof, stone floors, bespoke seating and cushioned daybeds are shaded by weaved persianas, creating a sort of celestial terrace to laze the day away.
Eivissa’s colourful cultural cache is explored through a carefully-curated art collection. Selected by Marcos Tur, the thirty-five works of painting, photography, screen-printing and sculpture offer creative visions from sixteen of the island’s most prolific artists.
Today, the home’s sustainability credentials resonate far beyond any mere refrain. By embracing the natural elements, an entire technical eco-system has been designed to ensure water, air, and energy circulate through the property with the utmost efficiency. A small desalination plant generates new water, while soft water is re-irrigated into the garden. A complex network of pipes, cables, and control panels – all hidden from view – operate like the residence’s central nervous system, akin to the intricate technical innerworkings of a large sea vessel. The house has been awarded for its efforts, celebrated as a paragon for how to respect and integrate architecture into the surrounding milieu. Inspired by Ibiza’s Els Amunts area, the island was reforested with native plant species to create a more seamless skyline with the surrounding pine- covered coast. The home’s second pool emulates the form and feel of a small lagoon with prominent sculptural sandstone rocks protruding along the edge. Further afield, a series of grassy terraces act as a natural amphitheatre facing onto the sea. An oasis of refuge, aromatic allure, and tree-rich tranquillity, the island’s thriving garden enhances the power of the home beyond measure.
A microcosm of island life, Sa Ferradura’s restoration is a celebrated return to the Eivissan idea of living in harmony with the elements, sustainable design, and welcoming in the free-feeling air. This is a home where the spirt of renewal is writ large and small, coming alive through big ideas and intricate details. A home whose self-sustaining cycle stands to surge across time – and endure.