You can be sure that whoever visits Formentera for the first time will be dazzled by its natural beauty and will keep a picture of it in their minds, as well as an intense desire to return. This flat, stony Balearic island is well known for its crystalline water, its idyllic beaches and spectacular cliffs.
La Mola promontory to the north of Formentera stands out as the island’s highest point, from where it can be almost entirely seen. Very nearby, the architect Marià Castelló has created a delightful swimming and leisure area to be shared by two centuries-old houses in the grounds of Can Xomeu Sord in Sa Talaiassa. The walls made of local stone that is dug up from farming the land serve to divide the properties and farming land of the various home owners, in a simple but effective exercise of landscaping.
Indeed, the dry stone walls are used to make the pool blend in with the surroundings. The intervention is set off by Formentera’s characteristic rural features that sit in the landscape as if they formed part of it. The views between the dry stone walls of the two houses and the lighthouse of La Mola in the distance give the ensemble a traditional flavour.
From the outset, the project was conditioned by a space marked off by two parallel walls and an old farmyard. As the site and the materials were a given, all that had to be done was to let them speak.
The large 15 x 4 m pool shell was made of brick and a 25 cm layer of gunite, which was then tiled using 60 x 20 x 2 cm white Macael marble, on a tangent with a wall that existed before the building work. The decking around the pool is of specially treated solid pine wood.
To the south of the pool, floating above the old farmyard, there is a light pergola with galvanised steel posts and a reed cover, inspired by the designs of the architect Lluís Clotet at his home in Mallorca, and of Can Toni des Cocons.