Project Gomila: MVRDV transforms a neighborhood with shapes, colors, and typologies

In a new experiment by the studio, a new group of buildings is modifying the historical area around Plaza Gomila in Palma de Mallorca.

MVRDV's new project marks a transformation in a historic district of Palma de Mallorca, in Spain.

Seven buildings, five of which have already been completed, compose a new urban mosaic within the Spanish neighborhood of El Terreno. Each building becomes an architectural object, constructing new urban relationships, using different housing typologies that generate new ways of living.

As co-founders Jacob van Rijs and Winy Maas described, " When looked at together, you see a colourful collection of buildings that still somehow work together as a group." Here, functional mixité aims to rethink the role of design within established contexts. Indeed, as the architects describe, "This diversity of people and spaces will help bring back El Terreno’s lost vibrancy."

The intervention, however, raises the need to question how the project relates the surrounding historic fabric. Indeed, the different typologies rethink not only the architecture's physical presence but also the neighborhood's character. Colors and shapes reconstruct a kaleidoscopic continuity of the urban block, inserting new permeable elements and green patios. Moreover, each building reinterprets traditional architectures, making it difficult to recognize a continuity with the existing fabric.

The project reveals that building in a consolidated fabric can make the project active in rethinking urban dynamics. Indeed, the heterogeneity of Project Gomila becomes a possibility to experiment with a way of living between residence, commerce, and collective spaces. Here the city is reconstructed in miniature, where the vibrant life echoing in history seems to be solidified in the experimentalism of forms and materials, producing an unexpected urban landscape.

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