Back to top

Sa Mata

Raw materials, clean lines and an open plan for a cool summer.


The flow of a house affects much more than the force of the evening breeze. Creating a sense of flow shapes how we move, breathe, and live. Nestled among the pines near San José in the island’s south, Sa Mata is confidently designed around concepts of movement and continuity. Such ideas give the house a sensation of free-flowing fun while providing plenty of room for pause.

An inherited project, Jaime Romano took a bold decision from the outset. Paring back the design at planning stage, he adapted a slightly playful architectural approach inspired by a cop de puny, a Catalan cooking technique that refers to the squashing of an onion with unflinching force. This translated into stretching the original compact design to create a more horizontal home, adding significantly-sized interstices between the main rooms. These crevasses open up the house to natural light and fresh air, while also welcoming in the natural sounds, sights, and scents encircling the property. Inside, it feels as if the structure has been given room to breathe.

Sa Mata is a home envisaged for entertaining and enjoying the rhythm of summer.

Large retractable floor-to-ceiling windows slide open like doors to open up living rooms to the outside. The kitchen is deliberately tucked away from the lounge and dining room to ensure a healthy distance between guests and the sounds and activity of cooking. Outside, wide paver-stones offer a place for respite under the afternoon sun on bright yellow sunbeds. The exterior patios are also ideal for hosting late-night al fresco meals with friends and family.

A coherent vision between the interior and exterior space abounds. Looking onto the garden from inside the living room, the landscape is framed by a portico-styled cement structure that extends into the garden almost like skeletal armour. These rectilinear columns fuse harmonious design principles inspired by Le Corbusier with the reality of Ibiza’s way of life, which has always blurred the line between inside and out. This is repeated on a smaller scale around the house, where bedrooms flow onto their own private gardens and the large windows of the interstices look onto lush greenery. Almost every space seems to have a counterpoint to the exterior, which creates an ongoing dialogue with nature.

Masterfully decorated by the firm’s interior decorating team Box 3, the home is filled with bright colours, statement design pieces, and cheerful art. The living room includes snug 1950s-inspired vintage pieces, bookshelves stacked with a selection of summer reads, and even an artisanal hammock sourced from Mexico. An eclectic selection of lamps, including the TMM from iconic Catalonian designer Miguel Milá, illuminate the rooms with a bold sense of Spanish style. Art from artists residing in Ibiza such as Antonio Villanueva and Miranda Makaroff are hung on prominent walls. Every piece of art and furniture has been carefully selected to enrich the house’s textural and visceral splendour.

The building’s materials were chosen with similar effect. Cement on the ceilings and exterior columns is layered with a variety of meticulous techniques. The ceilings reveal a sophisticated polishing method while the bone-coloured cement outside is enriched by deliberate textural imperfections. The push-hammered limestone floors are inspired by an evolved medieval technique. Wooden cladding is used inside and out to enhance continuity. Cerejeira – a sturdy, tropically-grown wood – is used for sliding doors as well as lines of vertical beams on the exterior walls and on the slatted ceilings.

A sense of logic winds all of these elements together. Eschewing the solid, monolithic forms of traditional houses, the open, horizontal design endows each room with its own unique view. Upstairs, the master bedroom enjoys panoramic views, including the evening sun, while each of the three other bedrooms face west, east, and north respectively. Such considered design is a source of comfort, personal sovereignty, and differing atmospheres.

This sense of interconnected spaces and interstices ensures the choreography of daily life unfolds intuitively. While expansive living quarters are ideal for entertaining without revealing the entire home, smaller, secluded rooms and corners provide places to read a book, have an intimate conversation, or enjoy an afternoon siesta. This speaks to the architect’s belief that life is a collection of different moments. By accommodating how people move throughout the day, Sa Mata is a home whose inhabitants are given freedom to flow.

Date of construction
Jaime Romano
Manel Landete
Manel Landete
Roberta Jurado
Jaime Romano
Jason Watson @ Terravita
Lluís Oliva (site architect)
Rosa Rey @Box 3 (interior designer)
Jennifer Correa @Box 3
Juan Mayans (technical architect)
Jesús Rodríguez @Marí-Balaguer Arquitectos (structural engineer)
General contractor and suppliers
Balafia de Baix (general contractor)
Box 3 (kitchen, bathrooms and cabinets)
Carpintería Montesinos (wood work)
Industrias Mairata (aluminum joinery)
Carpintería Metálica Vicent Torres (metallic structures)
Terravita team (landscape)
AD España, May 2021