A few years ago, Susan commissioned Regan Bice to give S’Olivera a contemporary relevance while retaining its original soul and spirit. The solution was to adapt the interior so that the very essence of emptiness revealed its purity. To take it back to a blank canvas of pure white walls, so that their art, along with the architectural features and a few well-chosen objects became the main focus. These are the chronicles of this process. We hope you’ll come along with us for the ride!
The doors and windows come in several styles, all of which were restored and repurposed for this setting, over 30 years ago. This room will become an independent Studio/apartment with its own entrance. We hope to reincorporate some of these doors and windows in the new construction.
Marble counters, trimmed in very old hand painted tiles, tile floors and some basics— fire and water — were all that was needed to convert groceries and garden produce into food and sustenance over the years.
It has an unusually high ceiling with 3 skylights, so we used a collection of tall, elegant doors to define bedrooms, storage and work spaces. This will be a dramatic shift when we eliminate all of these walls and doors to return this space to its original hay barn open loft plan.
Another opportunity to observe how the widows poke bright holes in the massive, solid walls comes in the bedroom. First we have some of my personal favorites—the original, primitive arches, (from the humble sheep stable origins) which we took great pains to preserve with clear glass and a framed window. The 4 ft thick walls enclose the view in mythic proportions.
This gives you an idea of S’Olivera from the inside. Next we will take a tour of the outside and see how the garden looked before and after.
All photos in this post by Susan Unger — except for three, which were taken by Núria Gavin.