The Casa Balandra house itself is spectacular and seems like it must have quite a few stories to tell in its whitewashed walls. Can we get a quick history of the Casa and who/how you found yourselves building this place in this space in this moment?
The house is actually the house I was born into. My sister was only three when she moved in, so we grew up here...which means that every single corner of the house is flooded by memories and stories. Actually, when the realtor showed my mom the house, he thought she would hate it. The house had been on the market for years and years and had had many viewers...but none could see past the overgrown gardens and forgotten interiors. As soon as my mom walked into the courtyard she knew the house was magic. Ever since then, she, our dad, our grandad, and many others helped do up the house and make it into a home. Eventually my sister and I both moved away, my parents found an apartment in the city and put the house up for rent and...it kind of lost its magic. So when we had the idea to use the house as the jumping off point for this very special dream-space, we came back in January of last year and that's what we focused on: the magic. We took out the odd, old pieces of furniture, gave the walls a new lick of paint, and made it the kind of space we'd want to truly be in.
Casa Balandra is also home to creative artist studios and residencies. What does that look like and what is your vision for it?
We just had our first artist's residency in November and it was everything we could have hoped for and more. With the residencies, because it's a house, we want people to leave feeling like a family and through them we want to further create a sense of community. Our residencies are interdisciplinary—painters, photographers, sculptors, writers, musicians all inspiring each other—and in the future, we want to explore possibly connecting all past residents, with the idea being that the more people connect, the more collaborations will flow. We think feeling like a part of something is essential to being happy in life, and we really want our residents to feel like Casa Balandra is their home on the island of Mallorca, that they can always come back to.
What makes a good creative space and what makes a good social space? How do you reconcile the two?
I think that in this house it all kind of melts into one. We have studios where you can go create whenever you want a designated space, but often what happened during this residency is we would all congregate at different studios at different points in the day. It's very much a social and sharing residency environment. The studios are quite rough, in a sense that we don't want anyone to come and not feel like they can get messy, because we believe that if that were the case it would restrict creativity and freedom in a sense. We do encourage our residents to use whichever space they feel calls to them in the house, however, so it all becomes a creative workspace of sorts!