Es Llombards, Majorca, Spain – Mariana de Delás epitomizes a generation content with being on the move, comfortably switching from one environment to the next. The young architect divides her time between Barcelona, Madrid, and a remote agricultural estate in southern Majorca, owned by her family. Not quite ready to completely cut her ties with urban centres, Mariana is slowly realising a plan with her brother to renew the decaying stone houses and stable structures of the old family farm. Music festivals, architectural workshops and luxury off-grid accommodation all feature in this ancient agricultural land’s future, as well as a distant hope to establish a more permanent base for her work.
When did you set up your architecture practice?
MARIANA DE DELÁS: I started to work independently after being offered to design a hotel in Madrid. At that time a good friend of mine had just come back from New York, so we decided to join forces. Our clients are based in Barcelona, Madrid and Majorca. We don’t have as many clients as I would like in Majorca yet, but enough to start working in this triangle. The long-term plan is to set up my architecture base here.
What made you want to come back here?
I want to revitalise the family farm. We have this family treasure and there is no ambition for change, everybody just keeps it as it is. There are a lot of cousins and uncles involved, but we have the opportunity to transform and renew it.
What is your ambition for this place?
The overall goal is to keep the estate in the family. I want to make the farm as splendorous as it deserves to be by exploring different ways to sustain it. There are not many places like this that have not been corrupted by money. But in order to make it economically sustainable the farm has to generate more income.
We want to fix old structures while creating interesting side projects. We have hosted two international architecture workshops where we created experimental structures using traditional building techniques. In October we are going to host the first edition of a new music festival featuring experimental bands from Majorca. We restored the roof of one of the old buildings, which became the first wooden roof in the area. By fixing these buildings we also hope to create places for music residencies. It’s so calm here, I think it would work really well for musicians.
We are also in investment talks to refurbish one of the main houses in order to rent it out. It will be an off-grid house, a very unique space that will self-produce all the energy it needs. It’s a contemporary idea of luxury, offering privacy and connection to nature.
In my field we are obsessed with research and planning, but sometimes things that are done spontaneously end up being much more interesting
Do you think being here influences your creativity in a different way?
Everything is done without planning here. People on the farm are very practical and I find that very inspiring. In my field we are obsessed with research and planning, but sometimes things that are done spontaneously end up being much more interesting.