“Ruins are ideal: the perceiver’s attitudes count so heavily that one is tempted to say ruins are a way of seeing. Of course they actually exist, but since the eighteenth century they are never just problems of maintenance. Rather, practically any human thing slipping into dereliction, the forecast of ruin, engages our feelings about where we see ourselves in history, early or late, and (in poignant cases) our feelings about how the world will end.” (Robert Harbison, The Built, the Unbuilt and the Unbuildable)
Home. Home is where today’s story begins! Each of us has a different conception or impression of the word Home. And those conceptions or impressions are valid! They have been validated by experience mostly. For many living today, Home means love, hope, dreams, memories, friends, laughter…the list just goes on and on. For those of you studying Architecture, Home may be conceived as bricks, beams, building materials, and engineering. And for those of you studying the Social Sciences, Home may be where you have second chances, have the opportunity for making mistakes in a safe environment, a place for smiles and hugs, and a safe haven from life’s daily challenges. Our story today is about Home where hopes and dreams are made, fashioned, created, experienced, and a place to go back to on a regular basis.
For Anton Garcia-April and Debora Mesa, Principals in the firm Ensamble Studio, Home presented itself with the possibility of “doing together best of all”…and this particular story of Anton and Debora’s Home journey where they confronted the need to leave home and yet wanting to get back to it within the same breath! With their architecture firm succeeding within the global arena, Anton and Debora cast their eyes around them to formulate their next journey. At this stage in their lives, they both realized the best journey takes them or leads them back Home. Anton noticed curious advertising about an abandoned stone quarry on the Menorca Island, part of the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea governed by Spain. The abandoned stone quarry, called Ca’n Terra (which translates into House of the Earth), enabled Anton and Debora to implement their insightful manifesto: “We think with their hands, we experience”; “We dream spaces and design their construction…aiming to excite places and people”; “And above all, we do.” Ensamble Studio adapted nearly 18,000 square feet of excavated stone rooms and spaces into a Home. Their collective effort is transforming an abandoned workspace which had been abandoned into a place, a Home, that will “improve the quality of life in and around them.” (www.ensamble.info)
What are your thoughts on HOME? What does HOME mean to you? And what are your thoughts as you take some time now to examine Ca’n Terra and reconsider HOME?
Long View of Ca’n Terra, Menorca Island, Spain