In the serene Bonanova neighborhood of Palma, the innovative residential project Paral·lel stands out as a model of sustainable and efficient design. Conceived and executed by Oliver Hernaiz Architecture Lab (OHLAB), this development marks a significant stride in blending urban living with a deep commitment to environmental sustainability.
Paral·lel Technical Information
- Architects1-7: OHLAB / Paloma Hernaiz and Jaime Oliver
- Location: Bonanova, Palma de Mallorca, Spain
- Topics: Wood in Architecture
- Completion Year: 2023
- Photographs: © José Hevia
Taking full advantage of the urban planning regulations of ground floor plus three levels, the buildings have been designed so that, despite the density and limited space, each of the 12 dwellings can enjoy the suburban ideal of sustainability, energy efficiency, privacy, and even small private gardens and pools.
– OHLAB Architects
Paral·lel: A New Benchmark in Sustainable Residential Architecture
Paral·lel comprises two distinct blocks that embody the suburban dream within an urban setting. These 12 duplex units, split between ground-level garden apartments and panoramic penthouses, offer residents an unparalleled blend of privacy, energy efficiency, and sustainable living. The intricate design leverages local regulations, ensuring each unit enjoys its private garden and pool, a rarity in dense urban developments.
The heart of Paral·lel’s design lies in its dynamic façades. Composed of folding wooden slat shutters, these structures are more than mere aesthetic elements; they are integral to the building’s environmental strategy. Drawing inspiration from traditional Mediterranean pergolas and lattices, the shutters regulate privacy and sunlight, adapting to the changing seasons. This versatility is achieved by transforming the panels from shutters to pergolas, optimizing solar gain in winter, and providing shade in summer. This responsive skin not only reflects the inner life of the dwellings but also significantly enhances the building’s energy efficiency.
Paral·lel’s commitment to sustainability is further evident in the choice of materials. The horizontal wooden slat shutters, a striking feature of the main facade, are made from certified wood, ensuring responsible forest management and traceability throughout the supply chain. This choice underlines the project’s dedication to environmental protection and social responsibility.
The architectural philosophy of Paral·lel prioritizes energy efficiency. The buildings are designed to minimize the need for air conditioning, drastically reducing energy costs. This approach is a testament to OHLAB’s commitment to creating structures that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also functionally superior and environmentally responsible.
The lateral façades of Paral·lel exhibit a different character. They are designed to blend seamlessly into the urban landscape while ensuring privacy. The use of earthy tones and varied textures aligns the building with its surroundings, creating a visual dialogue with the urban fabric. The irregular openings and diverse materials lend an organic feel, breaking the monotony typically associated with urban developments.
A novel feature of Paral·lel is its integrated rainwater collection system. This system underlines the project’s commitment to utilizing local resources and minimizing environmental impact. The collected rainwater is used for pool maintenance and irrigating the low-maintenance, climate-adapted Mediterranean gardens, significantly reducing the building’s water footprint.
In keeping with the Mediterranean ethos, the project heavily emphasizes the use of natural, locally sourced materials. Mallorcan hydraulic tiles and custom-made terrazzo not only evoke a sense of warmth and tradition but also reflect an environmentally conscious choice due to their low impact and minimal processing. The use of oak wood adds a touch of elegance and durability, further enhancing the building’s sustainable credentials.
Paral·lel Image Gallery
OHLAB is an architecture and design practice situated in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, founded by architects Paloma Hernaiz and Jaime Oliver in 2005. The firm has garnered acclaim for its innovative, contextually informed, and sustainable designs that span a variety of scales and typologies, including residential, commercial, and cultural projects. OHLAB strives to create architecture that is symbiotic with the natural and social environment, using resources judiciously and prioritizing comfort while minimizing energy requirements.
Notes & Additional Credits
- OHLAB team: Paloma Hernaiz and Jaime Oliver with Rebeca Lavín, Robin Harloff, Silvia Morais, Loreto Angulo, Luis Quiles, M.Bruna Pisciotta, Pedro Rodríguez, Mercé Solar, Eusebiu Spac, Lara Ortega.
- Quantity surveyor: Jorge Ramón
- Structure: DICAES
- Timber facade consultancy and manufacturing: GRUPO GUBIA
- M&E Engineering consultants: INGENIO Consultores
- Kitchens and furniture: Espacio Home Design
- Contractor: Diazgar