Page C1.1 . 14 December 2005                     
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House of Sert

by Jaume Freixa

Spanish architect Josep Lluís Sert (1902-1983) is perhaps best known for his buildings and urban-scale projects. As a member of GATEPAC ("Group of Spanish Architects and Technicians for the Progress of Contemporary Architecture"), he was concerned with the role of architects in city planning. And yet he was also a master of small-scale interior and furniture design. Some of his favorite forms were inspired by vernacular houses. — Editor

Sert's own house at Punta Martinet was part of a cluster of nine houses built on a cape on the island of Ibiza, Spain between 1968 and 1971. He reinterpreted the island's vernacular architecture which had long fascinated him. The six houses he designed are all different, each responding to its own program and topography. The existing stone terraces were conserved, giving the complex the air of an indigenous village.

During his mature phase, Sert was clearly a Spartan interior designer, a creator of spaces of unquestionable visual beauty with a minimum of artifacts or identifiable pieces as individual objects.

These spaces were motivated by a remarkable proportional coherence and were generally free of any rhetorical whim that might refer either to the past or to what was currently in vogue. Furnishings were subordinated as much as possible to the architecture, with the exception of certain classic pieces such as Thonet chairs and armchairs, or those from the traditional repertoire: either American Windsor chairs or the ones used in the peasant houses on Ibiza.   >>>

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This article is excerpted from Josep Lluís Sert by Jaume Freixa, with permission of the publisher, Santa & Cole.

 

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The house that Josep Lluís Sert built for himself in Punta Martinet is part of a cluster of nine houses built to resemble an indigenous village.
Photo: Francesc Catalŕ-Roca

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One of the Punta Marinet houses.
Photo: Francesc Catalŕ-Roca

 

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