good architecture contemplates the natural landscape it inhabits, but brilliant architecture merges the two. marià castelló martínez has achieved brilliance with his project ‘bosc d’en pep ferrer’ on the mediterranean island of formentera. combining the natural and the man made worlds, castelló seamlessly conducts a beautiful duet. the project takes a cross section of the very earth which it inhabits exposing the bare rock and allowing a rare glimpse of it’s natural beauty. this leads into the architect’s use of pine and fir left in their natural color, a warm hue that matches the sand. the design is dictated by its materials.

marià castelló island design
all images by marià castelló martínez



from far away the house appears a desert mirage, an effect contributed to by the inland facing side’s complete lack of windows. the three pure geometric forms simply sit on the site and instill curiosity and wonder like a temple of the ancient world. but surprisingly the house is very well lit both from the sea facing panoramic windows and the entrances of, and pathways between, the various structures.

marià castelló island design
an outdoor crevice of the home



the plan is simple, too simple, and yet the experience is so novel. through the procession from one chamber to the next, or from one floor to another, you are exposed to such a variety of contrasting elements of light and darkness, all with such balance. its truly a playful space and it’s evident a great deal of thought was given to the user experience. you drive down to the underground lot and you are instantly inside the earth, the jaded rocks surround you, from there you ascend into the pools of light and a vista of the blue mediterranean.

marià castelló island design
framed views of the earth and the sea



each detail in the house, from the doors to the ladders, is bespoke, giving the house a refreshing originality. the design goes beyond aesthetics, and provides passive bioclimatic systems of proven effectiveness in this climate, as well as water self-sufficiency thanks to a large volume cistern that reuses rainwater. castelló has done a tremendous job designing this home, not only has he created beauty and function, but he has also reimagined what the two terms mean.

marià castelló island design
the architect plays with contrast

marià castelló island design
the various pathways between the volumes

marià castelló's island mirage, a duet of nature and design
one of the home’s entries into the rock-bed 

marià castelló island design
an amalgamation of materials

marià castelló island design
in the rock-bed under the house

marià castelló island design
handcrafted details make the home stand out

marià castelló island design
the lower level for a car park and underground entrance 

marià castelló island design
the design frames views of the sea

marià castelló island design
a drone image of the home reveals the comprehensive plan





project info:


name: bosc d’en pep ferrer

location: playa de migjorn, formentera, spain

architect: marià castelló martínez

building engineer: agustí yern ribas

structure: miguel rodríguez nevado / ferran juan

installations: javier colomar riera

collaborators: marga ferrer, natàlia castellà, lorena ruzafa, and elena vinyarskaya

builder: motas proyectos e interiorismo s.l. / luis tulcanazo castro / antonio serra requena / foreva s.l.

subcontractors: icarp valencia s.l. / velima system s.l. / astiglass s.l. / singularglass s.l.

project: 2007-2014

start of work: november 2014

end of work: march 2017