SPAIN - Real Estate & Construction
Miguel Arenas was born in Barcelona and graduated as an architect. He established his residence in Mallorca, developing his professional activity with his own architecture and urbanism studio. He has designed and managed projects for residential buildings and complexes, hotels, schools, offices, industrial buildings, a shopping mall, and the new headquarters of ENDESA. He has designed and directed numerous works of single- and multi-family homes of high standing in Mallorca and Ibiza, as well as rehabilitations of historic buildings.
With one of longest careers in the local architectural scene, Miguel Arenas has been able to help Mallorca become an icon in terms of architecture, design, and construction.
How has the island evolved in terms of design and know-how in architecture?
I started working in Mallorca in the 1970s. At that time, the architecture of isolated housing was basic. In the early 1980s, the tourist boom began, which led to the construction of large buildings and hotel complexes, generally facing the sea. Urban planning regulations were later regulated, becoming more restrictive and ecological and regulating single- and multi-family residential typologies and mandating the minimum size of plots and the maximum buildable area on them. All this caused an increase in the value of the land and also became more restrictive. Today, single-family houses more than 20 years old are being demolished in order to build new houses on the same plots in line with global demand that has made Mallorca today a pioneer in terms of architecture, design, interior design, and construction, all at the level of the best economies in the world. To this end, the entire construction industry has caught up with new demands and technologies.
How would you assess the presence of the Miguel Arenas brand throughout the island of Mallorca?
The presence of the Miguel Arenas brand is evident in the more than 800 projects carried out between Mallorca and Ibiza in our 52 years of work. Our typology is varied, featuring the new Endesa offices in Palma de Mallorca (25,000sqm of construction), the first building of 60 houses in the marina of Ibiza Nueva, multi-family housing in the form of villages such as the Marina de Malgrats complex, and Valle Dorado, both on the seafront. In the 1970s, the College of Architects selected the 10 best works done in Mallorca, of which three were by me: a single-family home in Cas Cátala, a single-family home in Costa dén Blanes, and a multi-family building in Palma. In the 1990s, I was already a pioneer of the avant-garde design today called “open plan,” with double heights and large windows. It maximizes the spectacular views and is fully integrated into the wonderful landscape in which it is located. In Mallorca, most of my works can be found in the southwest of Mallorca, Calvià and Puerto de Andraxt. In addition, we have rehabilitated historic buildings such as Es Casat Nou, in Puigpunyent, with a completely avant-garde interior design, while protecting the whole monumental building.
To what extent has COVID-19 boosted interest in the Mallorcan real estate market?
The pandemic has changed habits and the way of living and working around the world. Years ago, in Mallorca there was a change with an influx of foreign families who decided to create their new homes on this wonderful island. One of the few great things that the pandemic has taught us is that face-to-face meetings are not always necessary and that technological tools allow us to work at home. This has changed the model from Mallorca being people’s second homes to being their first. Consequently, housing needs will be different not only in homes, but also their surroundings. At the same time, homes will need to be more spacious. Logically, the budget of this approach to housing will be higher than before, but there is no doubt the quality of life with this new approach to life will be infinitely better than the past.
What would be your prospects for the development of the architectural business in Mallorca in the coming years?
I sincerely believe the prospects for the architecture business and its environment in Mallorca in the coming years are extremely promising. Our sector is perfectly capable and prepared to take on this challenge. Today, there is a high level of professionalism in our work not only at a project level but also at the execution level. The projects are developed in multidisciplinary teams, with a high level of demand and quality. If we are also able to protect this landscape, Mallorca will be a reference for the high standard real estate sector, worldwide.
SPAIN - Real Estate & Construction
Director, Jaime Salvá Architecture and Interior Design
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