CO14001 Competition, Public

Arrangement of Sa Punta
Maó. Menorca
5.020 m2
Joan Enric Vilardell Santacana

Architects in action: Sa Punta Management Preliminary Design Competition.



This platform located between the city and the cliff of the port is a piece of territory, in a certain inhospitable aspect, given its exposure to all winds. A feature that shows the little existing vegetation. Likewise, this almost “peninsular” geography makes it difficult for users to access and control a free space for public use bordered by a large difference in level and whose urbanization should not alter the perception of being a “geography”. natural.

Within the framework of the intervention, PEDRERA proposes the following objectives:

  • Not to alter the current port perception of the platform, understood as a facing in “natural state”, diminishing the effects of the arrangement on the port cornice. As a result, PEDRERA is committed to maintaining and completing the vegetation that makes up a seat belt around the long perimeter of the cliff. The continuity of this vegetal ring, which introduces the rosemary plant, is only broken by the access to the houses and the creation of an excellent viewpoint over the port ditch.
  • Due to the strong exposure to the wind, of the surface object of arrangement, PEDRERA tries to configure a new space by the procedure to create a gap in the landscape, when excavating by mechanical means a central hole where to lodge the future activities of leisure. The space left by the stones may provide space for social activities such as concerts, exhibitions or whatever you want to organize. This non-building, this emptiness obtained from the subsoil will allow a versatile use of Sa Punta, a shelter from the wind.
  • To avoid the implantation of materials other people’s to the surroundings, realizing an operation of aprovechamiento of this hectare of the port cornice with the resource to the own geology, already evaluated by specialists and with an available information that gives viability to the project. It is, therefore, a self-sufficient operation.



The new sandstone or non-space quarry, avoids the claustrophobic feeling of these places that have the sky as a roof, with a maximum excavation depth of two meters with respect to the level of the outer platform, it reaches the bottom thanks at a gentle slope of 6%. Likewise, this new urban landscape produced by the world of cut stone expands with a second square-plan hole rotated with respect to the first to obtain the feeling of labyrinthine, austere and monumental continuity due to the nudity of an essential geometry. But the invitation to visit the inside of the cliff must be announced from the Paseo Marítimo. For this reason, with the cutting force of the disc that allows regular pieces of remarkable size to be snatched from the rock, a ritual access with the arrangement of the blocks of 200x130x65 cm, forming a kind of hypostyle room, of undoubted symbolic references to the millennial world of antiquity.

Finally, the preliminary project responds to the position of watchtower of Sa Punta with the proposal of a punctual intervention in the perimeter of the cornice to install a light wooden platform from where to contemplate the great geographical esqueixada that is the Port of Mahon.



In addition to ordering access to the platform where this central space extracted from the rock is the protagonist, the hypostyle area houses the construction of a cafeteria with toilets for public use. The location of this facility directly linked to the access responds both to the desire to make it visible and to the proximity to basic infrastructures of the city or to the control of the accesses to the new equipment.

The conditions of the site and the easement of a possible wheeled access to the portals of the houses connected to the area have directed the design towards the release of the east side. Thus, a criterion of rationality advises the creation of a single internal circulation structure for public or restricted use, from the east side of the complex.

The creation of a linear organization gives an interesting degree of flexibility and ability to withstand changes on the projected idea.



The basic criterion of the preliminary project is to link the intervention to the context based on the mechanical extraction of the rock from the subsoil itself. An open-air work in a flat and bare ground where the machine will go vertically becoming a quarry of smooth walls and right angles.

The extraction work will be carried out with the help of the “watering can” and a crane, which moves the large blocks of sandstone. Thus, the constructions of the agora and the hypostyle surface will be made with the stones used as railings, walls, pillars, pavements or benches, obtaining a result of high technical and economic rationality in the project. Each stone placed in its proper place will perform a strict and necessary function, until the passage of time gives its patina to this calcareous rock, porous and permeable, of mixed composition that combines marine organisms with calcium carbonate.

PEDRERA is therefore built with a constructive solution that offers the site and that guarantees an optimization between the proposed idea and the current budget.



The idea of ​​the preliminary project is to incorporate, overcoming technological distances, those strategies that man has used to locate himself in the territory and protect himself from the weather. An issue where the orientation, the economy of the materials and their proximity to obtain, the constructive simplicity, etc. They represent the main factors.

Thus, the higher facings are built to protect from the north winds, the construction system is extremely sober and simple, obtained with a natural material that provides the same with the consequent savings in transport and economic benefit for the area and with proven durability and strength.

Sandstone is, in short, a natural material that does not require maintenance. And its use does not alter the possibility of closing its natural cycle.

The raft proposed as the backdrop of the stage is raised naturally. Aquatic plants will be responsible for purifying the water and providing the quarry with native wildlife.

Finally, the proposed vegetation – olive trees and rosemary – enjoy a low water requirement and a proven resistance to the effects of wind and sea water.

PEDRERA is an ecological proposal with high environmental sustainability.