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Global Architecture Platform

Jørn Utzon
Can Lis
Mallorca, 1972

The window detail of Can Lis shows an exemplary combination of technique and sensitivity, revealing a unique approach to efficiency.

“Our condition depends entirely on whether we are in a city or out in the countryside, on whether the space in which we find ourselves is large or small. Our reactions to these circumstances are at first quite unconscious, and we only register them on memorable occasions, for instance in the sublime enjoyment of a detail or a happy alliance with the surroundings or by a pronounced feeling of distaste.” (1)

Can Lis is the first house that Jørn Utzon built for himself and his family in Mallorca, in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. The detail of the window frame admirably expresses the radicality of the main statements of the project. Viewed from the outside, the house is a temple, an anthropic conquest like a milestone on top of a cliff. From the inside only the horizon, the light and the sky are present as the glass in the openings disappears: the thick walls made of local Santanyí stone, touched by the Mediterranean light, frame the openings. Sustaining the glass is thus the only function assigned to the wooden framework, avoiding any sealing responsibility by exceeding the dimensions of the opening, and thanks to the shelter provided by the front portico in which it is nested. This simple yet sophisticated solution shows an exemplary combination of technique and sensitivity, revealing a unique approach to efficiency. Largely due to this detail, the house can be conceived as a series of stone havens, shielded from the weather conditions while mantaining an intimate and unavoidable relationship with the vastness of the landscape: like the set of caves carved in the rocky cliff, that Utzon loved to visit.

(1)

Jørn Utzon, 1948 (from “The Innermost Being of Architecture”, in Richard Weston’s Utzon monograph, edition Blondal, 2002, p.10)

Posted
26.Feb.2016 949 views 19 shares
Author
Ramon Bosch&Bet Capdeferro

Ramon Bosch (Girona, 1974) and Bet Capdeferro (Girona, 1970) are graduate architects from ETSAB, Barcelona. Bet Capdeferro also attended the Masters in Landscape Architecture from the Fundació Politècnica de Catalunya. In 2003 they founded the office bosch.capdeferro arquitectures in Girona. Their professional activity has progressed in parallel to teaching at several universities as ETSAB, ETHZ, Escola Politècnica Superior de la Universitat de Girona and Cornell University, supporting from the fields of theory and research the development of design and construction processes. In 2011 they received the Emerging Architect special mention of the Mies van der Rohe Award. In 2012 their work was exhibited at the XIII Venice Architectural Biennale “Common Ground”.

www.boschcapdeferro.net/