Casa Son Vida / tec Architecture & Marcel Wanders Studio

© Gaelle Le Boulicault

Architects: tec Architecture
Interiors: Marcel Wanders Studio
Location: Palma de Mallorca, Spain
Developer: Cosmopolitan Estates
Project Area: 790 sqm
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Gaelle Le Boulicault & Studio

While Mallorca has long been a top destination for tourists in search of sun, beach, and great parties, today the Spanish island is about to garner some attention of a different kind. Cosmopolitan Estates, Ltd. (Cosmopolitan), a new real estate development company that plans and develops ultra-luxurious, high-design, state-of-the-art, sustainable residences and resorts throughout Europe and Asia, is proud to announce the completion of Casa Son Vida 1, a world-class modern luxury villa located near Palma in the exclusive Son Vida community. The first of six planned villas on the island, Casa Son Vida 1 is a hint of what is to come from Cosmopolitan. Standing as an expression of a new standard of progressive design that skews more futuristic than nostalgic, Casa Son Vida will capture the attention of the international design world with its sophistication and vitality, making Mallorca a new destination for those in search of design exploration and inspiration.

© Gaelle Le Boulicault

“While Mallorca is undeniably gorgeous, we felt there was a gap in the market,” explains Cosmopoli- tan president Michael Rimbeck. “Most real estate on the island is predictable or inevitably Mediterra- nean. We wanted to offer the increasing number of young, progressive, and adventurous buyers who are attracted to the island a more daring and evocative alternative. That is our ultimate goal, to create spaces that inspire and evoke. Casa Son Vida 1 does precisely that, and our future projects will only take it to the next level.”

plan 01

As with all Cosmopolitan projects, a world-class network of architects and designers was assembled to complete the project. Los Angeles- and Switzerland-based (tec), a global boutique design firm known for their own distinctive brand of architecture of the ‘third millenia,’ was commis- sioned to transform the villa from a run-of-the-mill quasi-Mediterranean structure into something all together different.

© Gaelle Le Boulicault

“Casa Son Vida 1 aims to redefine the notion of the luxury villa by moving most of the paradigms of luxury towards a more contemporary and forward-looking expression of architecture and technology,” explains Sebastian Knorr, tec co-founder and design director. “The project pushes the envelope in every direction and every sense; it is highly sustainable, basically off-the-grid, gives an unheard of sense of space and place, explores new construction technologies, and enters into a critical dialogue with the decorated box buildings in its vicinity. Casa Son Vida 1 is unavoidably exuberant and un- abashedly outrageous.”

© Gaelle Le Boulicault

Located approximately 15 minutes outside of Palma de Mallorca in an exclusive community called Son Vida, the eponymously named Casa is an example of design poetry in motion. The 8,500 square foot luxury residence transgresses the constraints of site and context, redefining luxury architecture as it is typified by the traditional and prolific Mediterranean and Tuscan styles otherwise found on the island. This act of defiance is accomplished by creating an entirely new structure that erupts unexpectedly from the walls of the existing Mediterranean home. The new structure evolves into a bold, curva- ceous shape that completely evades conventional definition. The idea is that the two pieces co-exist as separate entities, meeting abruptly and then quite literally turning away from each other. Their interaction suggests a chance encounter and speaks to the deliberate and bold juxtaposition of the two elements. The new structure could even be likened to a futuristic spacecraft that has quite literally landed on a typical Mallorcan villa.

© Marcel Wanders Studio
© Marcel Wanders Studio

Amsterdam-based Marcel Wanders Studio was tapped for the interior design, marking the first full residential project for the international design phenom. With his trademark wit and style, Wanders appoints the interiors with signature furnisthings and refined finishes.

© Marcel Wanders Studio

With a second villa just completed, two more about to break ground, and two more in development, Cosmopolitan is inspiring a design revolution on the island. Poised on the brink of a design renais- sance, Son Vida is on the way to establishing itself as an architecturally progressive community, put- ting Mallorca on the global design map for years to come.

Cite: "Casa Son Vida / tec Architecture & Marcel Wanders Studio" 15 Mar 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 23 May 2015. <>
  • César Castro

    This really looks like a joke. A very bad joke. If the developers think luxury is equal to tackiness, they succeed.

    On the other hand, I wonder if the amount of resources invested in this “luxurious” house can make it “sustainable”.

    • anavic

      My professor of Construction had a conference last week about:
      “How to be rich without being tacky” XD

  • Jeison

    Horrible in so many ways I can´t even start describing…

  • PatrickLBC

    First the positives: I love the exuberance, creativity, colors, and integration of artworks throughout. HOWEVER, I can’t imagine anyone actually living here. Not cozy at all. Over-the-top extravagance in a country where millions are in poverty. I would have loved to see the same playful energy applied to a project with a conscience.

    • anavic

      I know the world is in the middle of a credit crunch but do you think Spain belongs to the third world or something? Mallorca is a nice place to live. The project is tacky by itself, but the country has nothing to do as a coparison.

      • PatrickLBC

        So sorry to offend Spain. I should have said “on a PLANET where millions are in poverty”. My point was that this type of extravagance is irresponsible, no matter where it is located.

    • anavic

      No problem, it was a misunderstanding. BTW, I agree with the other part of your comment

  • Babcia Jadzia

    I would like to live in that house, for a month.

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  • Amir

    Cool crazy kitsch! I’ll remember it.
    It’s boring that every brick must be “sustainable” today.

  • tony

    this house was built for one reason, and one reason only: banging copious amounts of chicks.

    • amonle


    • bolongo

      form follows function, tony ;D

  • frank Wilson

    This is one of the worst houses ever displayed on archdaily.

  • sthapit

    i don’t know why there’s so many negative comments today but i love the design. i’m a big fan of marcel wanders – it might be one of those things where you have to be in the space to appreciate it (though i like the pics a lot as well). the mondrian in south beach (miami) is an example – you walk in and it takes your breath away. the clean modern lines go well with the whimsical and baroque pieces. plus as @tony put it above – it would be great for “banging copious amounts of chicks” so it gets my vote.

  • i

    gypsy stuff

  • Andrew Geber

    i love it
    viva la vida

  • Rouan

    Wow this is dreadful…complete focus on form making, which is bad enough, but the object itself isnt even nice to look at. If architects create forms just for the sake of making something look cool then AT LEAST make it look pretty. This is the most kitsch thing Ive seen on AD in a long long time.

  • grumps

    It’s a Bisazza orgy! It takes a lot of balls to make something so hideous. This would certainly win an architectural Razzie award. So, kudos kudos!

  • sullka


    If Elton John and Liverace had a child, this would be his home.

  • zureste

    A good lie

  • jfco.

    Kitsch…super kitsch. psychokitsch….(es esta la casa del Pocholo??)

  • gbh

    You should have published this on April Fool’s Day. It’s got it all: greed, avarice, conspicuous consumption; it’s totally arbitrary. No wonder the great majority of people in the world who might be able to afford to use an architect on a house think we’re all idiots.

    Some “design revolution”…………

  • tommo from HCMC

    now there’s a house for the ages!


  • enceladus

    i’m not really sure if i should laugh or cry…

    • anavic

      laugh!! take something good out of it! LOL

  • PaCh

    No matter what other say I find it truly amazing!!!
    Today’s architecture lucks boldness!
    Great Work! Keep up!
    Take Care

  • mil


  • dcalverley

    Wow! This is… different. Different being awful! Is it a joke?

  • drewcore

    Everything else aside… Can anyone explain the circular “GUEST BEDROOM” attached to the sauna in the middle of that room?

    • M

      That’s a typo. If I remember correctly, the circle is a steam room.

      • drewcore

        Ah, that would make sense, thanks M

  • Nicholas Patten

    I'd Live Here: Casa Son Vida.

  • M

    Ouch. Your comments sting, guys. But I guess if their goal was to “inspire and evoke” then bring it!

    Here’s my 2¢: I worked on this house. I went there in October of 08 before all the graffiti was put on. I think the graffiti is just distracting you from the beauty of the architecture. I’m going to talk about the architecture, and leave the graffiti out of this.

    Now, about the architecture: This house just moves you. I’ve never been inside a building with movement like this. The shapes that follow the curving walls are so dynamic they draw your eyes around the space and beg to be touched. The white-washed interiors with punches of black, red, gold, is nothing short of breathtaking. Light spills around every corner, drawing you through the spaces. At night the entire poolscape is illuminated with the stairs and the entire house and pool just flow seamlessly. And how come no one commented on those stairs? It’s pretty f*&king incredible how they just peel out of the exterior and spill into the pool. Did you people even look at the pool? Pass the margarita, because that’s sh*t’s awesome.

    And I disagree that it’s tacky. It’s certainly bold, but not tacky (I’m speaking about the architecture only). If you think this house is tacky, you’ve obviously never been to Beverly Hills. And hello? This is Marcel Wanders. Nothing about that man is subtle. And thank God for that since I would hope no one would design a wild house like this and throw a shrinking-violet, afterthought of an interior inside. Bold is the way to go here, people.

    I fell in love with this house the moment I stepped inside. But then again, I’m not afraid of form. I don’t know why as architects we just freak out when we see something formal. It’s as if we think that form has nothing to do with architecture.

    So stop your under-thought bitching and get back to designing, people. This house is awesome.

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  • emmomac

    It looks like one last folly from a dead age. The world has moved on. A bit too quickly for some it seems. Some of the images made me feel a little nauseous. 8,500 square feet? really?

  • Gill

    Very interesting!

  • Janna

    Dear Friends, Happy Fool’s Day!!!

    “Do you believe in life after death?” the boss asked one of his employees.
    “Yes, Sir,” the new recruit replied.
    “Well, then, that makes everything just fine,” the boss went on. “After you left early yesterday to go to your grandmother’s funeral, she stopped in to see you.”

    Happy April Fool’s Day!