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Private Villa in Las Brisas, Mallorca, Spain

Sergey Mishin

A private villa situated on a steep mountain facing the sea in Las Brisas, on the west side of the island of Mallorca.  Local planning regulations did not permit changes to be made to an existing reinforced concrete frame structure which had occupied the site for 10 years. 

The villa complex comprises a labyrinth of structures that descend the steep slope of the rocky mountain.  This is a space whose perception is aggregated from a large number of fragments and visual impressions.  One of the strongest impressions is the view as you enter the house - a double-height hall; a striking canyon, ending with a panoramic window which frames the view of the picturesque harbour.

The house's central volume, like its facade, is clad in grey volcanic stone which blends internal and external spaces.  The structure of the stone makes the house very energy efficient, minimizing energy use for cooling and heating.

To counter the heat and direct sunlight a double 'skin' has been introduced on the south and west facades.  The first, inner, layer of this skin constitutes transparent glass windows and tinted glass walls; the second, outer, layer is a system of moveable stone panels finished with copper from the inside.  This unique technology of moveable facade allows the degree of solar shading to be controlled and also to convert the house into an enclosed stone block to secure the property when uninhabited.

The central element of the house is a 'green gabion'- a laser-cut-copper void filled with twining plants.  The gabion stretches the entire width of the house, from east to the west, separating the villa space into living and service zones.  On the north side the gabion forms a vertical green facade.  On the western and eastern sides of the gabion there are intimate private spaces.  The perforated-copper surface of the gabion folds into the house through the double height hall and joins with the main staircase structure.  The pattern on the vertical green facade has been designed to respond to the context of the villa, bigger openings are located in zones more exposed to the sun during the day.

The main focus of the hall is a statement staircase constructed from copper clad plywood panels.  The method of construction was developed by ARUP engineers, with the patterns in the copper panels being cut by water jet.  A patination finish has been applied to the copper to allow a match with the copper used externally.  Fibre optic lighting has been incorporated into the design in strategic locations to create different lighting effects.

The project used a number of newly developed technologies and methods of construction and local companies were willing to take on the challenge presented to them.

The house has 3 levels, stepping down into the sloped garden.  The triangular garden terrace is made up from teak paving and a grass lawn, running as a continuous surface from outside into the interior of the spa.  Inside the spa is a swimming pool, finished in black concrete, creating a black void into which pixels of light are introduced creating reflections and shadows.



Private owner
Completion date: 


Type of building: 
Copper used: 


Name, office: 
STUDIO-MISHIN Architectural Bureau (Saint Petersburg, Rusia)
Address & description: 
Architects: Sergey Mishin, Katya Larina, Danyar Yusupov, Natalia Nassedkina

Copper contractors

Daniel Llofriu Pou, Alberto Arguimbau - GESDAN



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