This off-grid guesthouse was built by studio Mar Plus Ask has built in Mallorca, Spain, for creatives in need of a quiet escape. Tucked away high up in Mallorca’s Tramuntana mountains, the Olive House are run year-round by Mar Plus Ask as a silent refuge where solo architects, writers and artists can stay free from interruption.
Keen to leave this rugged terrain largely untouched, Mar Plus Ask set about designing two modest structures – one that accommodates sleeping quarters, the other cooking facilities – that look like homes in the surrounding landscape. One of the houses is partially embedded into an existing stone terrace, which the studio hopes will help the structure keep cool during the warm summer months.
A sliding teakwood door can be pushed back to reveal a grand arched entrance. Inside, the house has a series of smooth, sloping surfaces similar to those seen within a cave. The walls, floor and ceiling have been exclusively rendered in blush-pink stucco, as the studio felt the color was complementary to the pale green shade seen on the underside of an olive tree leaf. A corner of the house has been built around a craggy boulder that the studio left in situ, illuminated by a skylight directly above. Just beside the boulder, an overhead shower has been fitted, while a single bed lies on the other side of the house. Outside there’s also a large sink, the basin of which is formed from rock.
Mar Plus Ask created the second house by renovating a dilapidated shed on site that was once used to store tools. Surfaces throughout are instead covered in deep-purple stucco, a hue that the studio thought was more akin to the dark, glossy topside of an olive leaf.
As guests will be living off-grid, they will simply have access to two gas burners and a wood-fire oven – water, like that used to service the shower and sink in the first house, is sourced from a nearby spring. This house also includes a toilet.