Jan 11, 2024
Mediterranean Traditions, Mallorcan Heritage
- By
Blaire Dessent
Mediterranean Traditions, Mallorcan Heritage
Jan 11, 2024
by
Blaire Dessent
Mediterranean Traditions, Mallorcan Heritage
Jan 11, 2024
by
Blaire Dessent
Mediterranean Traditions, Mallorcan Heritage
Jan 11, 2024
- By
Blaire Dessent
Mediterranean Traditions, Mallorcan Heritage
Jan 11, 2024
- By
Blaire Dessent
Mediterranean Traditions, Mallorcan Heritage
Jan 11, 2024
- By
Blaire Dessent
W

hether you are looking to build a home, renovate, make some minor updates or purchase a new piece of furniture, using locally sourced materials is something to seriously consider. Often architects or builders will recommend the “easy” solution of cement or mass-produced materials that are shipped over from Europe or further afield in large quantities, and they are common to work with. But, in fact,  incorporating local as well as sustainably sourced materials is both aesthetically and financially an interesting proposition. What does ‘Made in Mallorca’ actually mean? What are some of the local materials used on the island and what makes them so special? Let’s find out.

Stone

‘Pedra en sec’, known as dry stone, is a building technique first used on the island around the 1st millenia, during the Talayotic period. Today you can find remains of small stone huts on Mallorca as well as neighbouring Menorca; their circular structures, often with small window openings or doorways, have clearly proven the durability of this type of building technique. You also see the pedra en sec process in play in many of the walls and walkways in the Tramuntana Mountains, in fact the popular GR 221 trail that snakes through the Serra de Tramuntana Mountains, is called the Pedra en Sec trail. Today, architects and builders are reconsidering this method both in the design of homes as well as exterior walls, using locally quarried stone.

Another beautiful local stone is the pinky-hued mares stone, found in places like Petra and Santanyi. This soft sandstone is used with a lime stucco for support and it was used to build La Seu cathedral and so many of the island’s stunning 16th or 17th century palacios. Mares can be used structurally as well as for more decorative purposes.

Binissalem stone, as its name implies, is quarried near the central valley wine region, Binissalem. It is a marbled limestone, with tones that range from grey to light pink to soft brown. The stone works beautifully as indoor and outdoor flooring, countertops, walk-in showers, as well as for textured stone sinks and cutting boards.

Preparing pine wood, Photo by Xim Izquierdo for the project Loop, Courtesy Amarar
Glass blowing at Gordiola Glass Factory

Tiles

In the early part of the 20th century, Huguet, a tile manufacturing company based in Campos, was founded, and many of the villas and homes built in Mallorca at that time were decorated with their patterned and textured tiles. Today, many of these homes still retain their original Huguet tiles, which are just as beautiful and contemporary as they were nearly 100 years ago. The brand has continued to innovate over the decades and today it is one of the most sought-after companies for cool and contemporary terrazzo and hydraulic tiles used on floors, kitchen and bathrooms. Collaborations with top designers have led to limited edition collections. Projects can be bespoke commissions or standard. Shop their Campos showroom to explore the wide range of styles and possibilities.

Wood

Wood, particularly pine and olive, can be found and used in sustainable ways on the island and is a common material for a range of furniture pieces. With its light brown and rather neutral tones, pinewood is amazing for cabinetry, countertops or flooring, while olive wood works beautifully for tables and chairs as well as smaller accessories. Whether using found wood slabs or sourced from certified tree farms, there is always something alluring and instinctual about a handmade wooden piece.

Glass

Mallorca’s glassmaking traditions are thought to date back to the Phoenicians, around the 2nd century, but was properly established in 1719 with Gordiola. Inspired and influenced by Murano glass, the tiny island off of Venice, Italy that completely transformed the possibilities of what glass can be for future centuries, wealthy aristocrats newly arrived on the island wanted glass objects for their homes and Gordiola began its traditions, creating their own distinctive style. La Fiore is another well-known glass manufacturer on the island, established in 1964. Both workshops continue today, despite having hit hard times, creating their range of dishware, decorative items, and lighting fixtures such as chandeliers and pendants, and also collaborating with local designers to create more one-of-a-kind pieces.

Respecting the local environment and landscape creates a more holistic home and these traditional materials naturally add in elements of warmth, character and Mallorcan style.

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