When Victor Esposito emigrated from Marseilles to Ibiza roughly 20 years ago, his first house was close to the airport. It had a beautiful view of the sea, but the presence of neighbours all around disturbed him. When a friend informed him of a large, seventeenth-century finca, a farmer’s estate, that was for sale, he decided to take a look for himself. It turned out to be a completely neglected piece of land with a derelict farm on it, somewhere between Santa Gertrudis and San Mateo. The walled terraces where the farmer once cultivated vegetables and fruit were totally overgrown by wild plants and there were beautiful and very old trees spread around the estate.
Victor: ‘Most importantly, I noticed there wasn’t a single house or farm to be seen in any direction. This region is the most rural part of the island, and it was exactly because it was in such an isolated and undisturbed place that I really liked it.’ Together with Pascal Cheikh-Djavadi, a friend and architect with whom he has collaborated on various projects (they are currently busy renovating a house in the southern Italian region of Puglia, PvD), Victor decided that he wanted to keep as many of the traditional elements from the finca as possible. At the same time, the extensions that had to be built had to merge in the most natural way possible with the existing building, which the men used as a starting point. At the moment, the house covers more than 400 m2 and the ceilings have been raised from 3.5 m to 7 m. In volume that is more than double what it used to be.
Victor: ‘Cheikh-Djavadi likes rectilinear shapes, which perfectly connects to the traditional building style of this island, but I also like soft, round forms. The result is two rectangular spaces with softly arched ceilings that were built to the left and right of the original structure with its arched doorway. Other than several existing beams made of dark juniper wood, which were traditionally used to keep the ceiling from collapsing, the rooms are painted white. In the bedroom, they made a gigantic recessed window with a wooden window frame where you can sit, read and enjoy the view. In the rest of the house, they only put a few modest rectangular windows in to keep the Spanish sun out as much as possible. However, Victor did choose to place a row of glass folding doors that seamlessly merge the interior and exterior. Both inside and out, the floors were tiled with Piedra Caliza stone, a local variety of stone that keeps the spaces cool and light because of its light colour. This stone was also used around the swimming pool, which accentuates the turquoise rectangle even more. ‘It’s a tiny pool that can at most contain three people at a time, but it’s just big enough to be a place where you can cool down during the hottest part of the day.’