To own a listed property is a privilege that’s even greater when the building has already been restored to its original glory – as is the case with Can Pujol.
In 1904 – when Salvador Dalí was born, and Spain’s former queen, Isabel II, died – a distinctive Art Nouveau property was built in Santa Catalina, Palma. Attributed to Alaró-born architect Gaspar Reynés i Coll (who studied in Barcelona and was influenced by the Modernist or Art Nouveau style, favoured by notable Catalan architects), Can Pujol bears a metal cartouche inscribed with 1904 on its impressive façade.
Just over a century later, in 2005, Mallorca’s Regional Government listed this property in Calle Pou as ‘Bien Catalogado’, for its historical interest.
Carola Büchler had already undertaken property renovations in Munich and, as she was visiting Mallorca several times a year with her husband, decided to look for a project here. She was attracted by the Art Nouveau or Modernist design of the three-storey Can Pujol, which was inhabited until she bought it in 2008.
Because of the building’s listed status, Carola’s project was carefully supervised by ‘Patrimoni’, with certain restrictions and conditions applied. Although she was allowed to remove some interior walls, other traditional features had to be fully restored using specified materials and companies registered by ‘Patrimoni’.
Among these features were the now carefully restored elegant Art Nouveau decorative columns, and traditional hydraulic-tiled floors. “A lot of the tiles were broken or missing, and replacing them was one of the most expensive parts of the project,” says Carola.
Specialist hydraulic tile company Huguet in Campos copied the eight different designs used in the original floor tapestry to make new moulds to produce the required tiles. Windows, stair rails, and two chimneys were conserved. Outside, Carola had to restore – rather than replace – the original curved wrought-iron balcony railings and wooden shutters, or ‘persianas’.
Now, Can Pujol’s stunning reformation is complete. Carola is pleased with the results, although the project was more challenging – and expensive – than expected. The work cost more than one million euros, and Carola had to change architect partway through. But the result is a spectacular and spacious townhouse that is now for sale, and would make a luxurious family home – or could be divided into two prestigious apartments, with a commercial space on the ground floor.
Modern features include air conditioning and heating, and an elevator from the spacious ground-floor entrance hall to the penthouse. The large roof terrace offers glorious views, including Bellver Castle, Sa Llotja, and La Seu – some of Palma’s other architectural gems.
The final stage of Can Pujol’s miraculous makeover was done by Knox Design, whereby Justine Knox and her talented team of home staging specialists set to work complementing the Art Nouveau structure with fine decorative detailing.
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