A long, twisted, rusty nail hung in our living room in Mallorca, a trophy my mother had picked up from the ruins of Villa Rotonda of Palladio during a visit she had made as a newly licensed architect. As a small child, I remember looking at the nail with admiration, knowing that this treasure connected me with History. I think that’s when my love of architecture began.
Respect for the traditional architecture of Mallorca
Laura Gayo’s projects (architect, graduated from ETSAM 2009) are based on timelessness. Modern architecture that is free from passing trends and that aspires to age with dignity. This is a constant concern for an architect that is true to herself and who looks to create honest architecture, both in terms of the environment and with her clients…, architecture that goes beyond labels. Her projects unite tradition and modernism, both local and international, the cultured and the popular.
Her work draws on the island’s traditional building and craftsmanship techniques, ancestral wisdom of which much has been sadly lost but that she is determined to recover. The correct use of marés (Majorcan sandstone), and not simply as decoration, the window shutters that let the air in but not the sun. Stone, wood, clay, lime mortar… Natural materials that age well, that breathe, that are a bit alive, create her ideal working palette.
The traditional style of the island has a certain austere, unpretentious character, in which everything has a reason for being and with which I feel a strong identity.
Another constant in all the projects she develops is landscaping and its connection between interior and exterior. The landscape and climate of Mallorca have led to a way of experiencing the outdoors that is very much its own. The garden is not just another space, but almost the most important one. A domesticated exterior, which is protected from the wind in winter and from the harsh sun in summer.
Laura’s concept of an architect’s work differs from some preconceived ideas in the profession, especially when it comes to creating other people’s homes. An architect should always be able to detach himself from his ego; to put aside the purity of his work to give priority to warmth and adapt to the people who will live in the home, and not the other way around. My projects are based on a vision to serve the people who live in them, combining my utmost respect for the landscape, tradition, and local culture. Every building I design is conceived for a specific place and a specific client.
In a world with so many uncertainties, more than ever we need our home to be our refuge, our outermost layer, the place where we are free to be ourselves.