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Mariana de Delás surprises and delights in a new case study that renews a traditional stone shelter, turning it into a luxurious bijoux dwelling in rural Mallorca. Situated throughout the island’s agricultural fields, these traditional shelters were built to act as refuges and storage units for hunters and shepherds. Dispersed across idyllic locations around the island, they range from 5-20 sqm with their simple mares stone construction walls and light ceramic roofs cutting a familiar figure for locals and visitors alike.

With many of these huts currently unused, the designer looked at recuperating this particular hideout’s existing structure while optimising the interior volume. Delás maximised the area through the introduction of light, views and made-to-measure furniture with multiple uses.

A bright red bow window acts as the main architectural intervention. Opening out into the old quarry, this window serves as a seating element for the inside while generating cross ventilation when open. The new opening frames the landscape from both inside and outside, creating a connection between the interior and the exterior. Working in collaboration with local studio 2monos, they devised the thinnest metal profile possible to generate an opening mechanism that was easy, elegant and functional.

 

Related: Camouflaged in Nature: Gjemmested Fishing Hideout in Telemark, Norway.

 

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All of the interventions and furniture pieces have been self-built to explore, learn and perfect the use of different materials and options. Benches, tables and stools are made by assembling the traditional mares pieces, bringing the characteristically traditional facade into the inside.

Following the self-building and exploration philosophy, facilities within the retreat are conceived in a way that work independently to the space they serve with the intent to be carried out by the individual. These MEP devices are envisioned to work on 12 volts to ensure fire hazard safety is adhered to, as the surroundings are very dry, and to promote a less energy consumption lifestyle. It also allowed for battery portability and electronic exploration to be explored.

Standing in the middle of a pine yard, the refuge is not rich in sunlight, so Delás devised – wait for it – a solar wheelbarrow! Acting as a morning ritual the wheelbarrow optimises the position of the sun to charge the inside power banks and batteries. All inside electrical components are made with small batteries so that they are portable and can be charged from the power banks that are charged at the solar wheelbarrow.

 

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Lights and fans are made with 9-volt rechargeable batteries that can easily be charged by using the sun. A bigger power bank and some electrical scooter 12-volt batteries are also in use for charging laptops, the water pump and other heavier load components.

The solar wheelbarrow serves as a prototype and emblem of the beginning of tomorrow’s mobile charging stations that epitomize the future of mobile living. Once high capacity batteries become lighter, the power grid and installations can travel with the user and not be fixed into the architecture, making and creating a new revolution of nomad living, where energy is portable and disassociated from the space its serves.

In what can only be a good thing for mankind, these updated temporary dwellings act as a refuge (excuse the play on words) from the bustling and fast pace of urban life.

 

Related: Grooming Retreat by Gartnerfuglen + Mariana de Delás on Balearic Islands, Spain.

 

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