Utzon’s house at Mallorca
November 18, 2019
In February 2019 Lower East went on a little inspiration tour to Mallorca, visiting CCA Andratx the centre of contemporary art in Mallorca, checking out the art scene in general, the graphic scene and of course also the food scene on the sunny island. We also tried hard to get into the Jørn Utzon house, Can Lis, in Portopetro at the island’s south coast. We almost managed, but ended up being allowed to enter the ground and watch and explore the house from the outside.
Still a very inspiring experience, what a house he created Mr. Utzon! Below you can see some of our photos from the scenery.
Can Lis is the house the Danish architect Jørn Utzon built for his wife Lis and himself near Portopetro. The house was completed in 1971, and is located on the top of a cliff. The house is built in the area’s yellowish-pink sandstone, known locally as marés stone, making it blend into the landscape.
The house consists of four separate blocks, linked together with walls and courtyards. From west to east, the first block houses the kitchen, dining room and study, the second the living room, the third the bedrooms and the fourth contains a guest suite. All face the sea with slightly different orientations following the line of the cliffs. The house makes optimum use of light and views.
The light in Mallorca is sharp and bright. Can Lis has a number of areas where loggias and projecting roofs provide shade. The window frames, mounted on the exterior surface of the walls, stimulate the effect of light inside the house. Most of the furniture is also made of stone, sculpted into shelving, tables, chairs and benches.
The Utzons kept Can Lis as their Mallorca residence for almost 20 years, living there for extensive periods as they grew older. They finally decided to build a second house on the island, Can Feliz, at a more remote location, as they were increasingly bothered by the continual pounding of the waves, the glare of the sun, and intrusions by tourists and architecture enthusiasts who wandered through the site. Can Lis was used for many years by their children.
After the Utzon Foundation, that was established in connection with the opening of the Utzon Center in Aalborg, Denmark, took over the house in 2011, it underwent extensive renovation in order to prepare the place for visitors. It is the wish of the Utzon Foundation that the wholly unique characteristics of the house, can be experienced by as many as possible, but in a controlled way. This means that access is only given to a limited number of people at a time.
9 months of the year, the house is reserved for longer working stays for architects, artists or others working with architectural expression. These residencies are allocated after application to the Danish Arts Foundation. After the residencies have been allocated, it is the Utzon Foundation that co-ordinates the practical aspects of a visit. Visits and shorter stays by architecture students and so forth are offered the remaining three month of the year and are administered by the Utzon Foundation.
The text is taken and adapted from wikipedia and other good Utzon-sources.
Check out the Can Lis at this link.