“Do you have a Blakstad style villa available?” , ” Do you have a villa by Rolf Blakstad ” or “We would like to rent a Blakstad finca in Ibiza”… Requests like this arriving more and more frequently.
But what is actually behind this mysterious term, which doesn’t sound Ibizan or Spanish at all, and what does it have to do with Ibiza and its architecture?
We want to get to the bottom of this phenomenon in today’s article: Who or what is Blakstad? And why is he so popular and in demand?
Blakstad is of Norwegian origin and the surname of a master architect-builder and carver who, during the gold rush of the early 19th century, decides to leave his country and emigrate to North America, where he starts to build the first buildings. Soon his first son Rolph is born, whom he gradually introduces to the world of architecture from the age of 5.
When Rolph Blakstad sails past the Ibizan island with his wife Mary at the age of 27, he already has a certain career behind him: initial studies in medieval and Renaissance art and architecture in Florence, extensive research into traditional Islamic architecture and craftsmanship, but that was not all. The Canadian architect has also worked as a film actor, theatre and television presenter and set designer, made documentaries on African wildlife and served the British government as a draftsman of archaeological monuments.
When Ibiza’s harbour appears before him, Cupid’s arrow hits him straight in the heart: it is love at first sight. His memories reflect a poetically romantic Ibiza, where modern technology had not yet penetrated and the same technology and materials had been used for millennia. The shimmering green patina, a thin oxide layer on metals caused by humidity, was a ubiquitous element on the island.
Here is where the Blakstads settle down, in an Ibiza that at this time lives mainly off agriculture, where donkeys and oxen drive the carts, water and wind mills grind the flour, among green fields and orchards, dotted with free-flowing natural groundwater springs and small streams that dry up in summer.
Rolph Blakstad begins to intensively study the culture of this special Balearic island, its buildings and architecture. One of his great discoveries and conclusions after long research and many journeys is that Ibiza’s architecture is thousands of years old and of Phoenician or Carthaginian origin. He is led to this thesis by the similarities between the Ibizan farmhouse and the rectilinear houses from the Neolithic period of the Middle East. Rolph Blakstad finds archaeological remains in Syria, Lebanon and Palestine that correspond to the rural fincas of Ibiza, whose construction also included the use of sabina trees.
These types of construction had allegedly not changed much over the millennia, despite of the Roman, Byzantine and Arab occupation, as the invaders settled down in Ibiza’s castle town and had no interest in spreading to the rural part of the island.
In 1956 Rolph founded ‘Blakstad Design Consultants’, with his research providing the basis for his work, design and building, for more than 40 years.
Today the family tradition is continued by his sons Rolf Blakstad and Nial Blakstad. The young Blakstads face their tasks with great respect for their father’s studies and for Ibiza’s so precious historical heritage, but at the same time they have their fingers on the pulse and take advantage of the technological progress. And it is precisely from this that the Blakstads’ unique feature, their authentic stamp, emerges: the skilful combination of traditional principles and modern design, the fusion of history and the latest technology.
Whether it’s the restoration of traditional Ibiza farmhouses or new construction, Blakstad’s landmark remains the fusion of the fundamentals of the island’s architectural tradition with comfort, form and contemporary styles.
“Ibiza’s architecture is just one part of a living, organic relationship between man and nature”. The philosophy of the father and founder resonates, in every stroke of a sign, in every set brick of a Blakstad finca or villa in Ibiza. His legacy now makes up part of the essence of the Ibizan island and embodies some of its most popular holiday destinations.
So much for the theory. But now let’s take a closer look! So how is this Blakstad element expressed in concrete terms, or how does it feel? Several of these precious pieces are available on our website, so let’s now see our Blakstad villas for rent in Ibiza.
Our Villa Blakstad , with its exterior wall formed entirely of Mediterranean stone, reminds us of a kind of castle or fortress, terracedly embedded in a generous landscape. The simple, stylish luxury of the finca’s interior, on the other hand, fuses this touch of the old with the ambition of the modern.
For a moment, while sitting by the finca’s pool with a cool cocktail, we can feel the timeless essence of things, the colours of the landscape, the gravity of the stone, the freshness of the water.
Another interesting property is Finca Blakstad San Rafael . This is a fascinating estate designed by Rolf Blakstad himself on generous grounds with woodland and terraced orchards.
The floor plans clearly reflect the old style of an Ibizan house: white straight lines of the thick walls combined only with the natural wooden ceiling beams. In absolute tune with Blakstad’s style, we feel surrounded by understated luxury framed in traditional style and filled out with technological modernity.
In this building we can also see Blakstad’s great merit and value for ecological building techniques that integrate with the surroundings: the clean, drinking water available throughout the house is obtained from an underground well and purified by reverse osmosis tanks. A stream serves as a natural source for the orchard planted next to it, which yields oranges, lemons and pomegranates.
For a moment, the entrance to this beautiful finca in Ibiza transports us to an enclave of the Middle East, we sense the same millennia-old Phoenician and Carthaginian roots that, according to Rolph Blakstad’s, theory connect both places.
In our fantastic Finca Blakstad we recognise again the basic, typical, Ibizan architecture, with its veranda and spacious terraces with wooden ceiling beams.
Open and airy spaces or the right shade incidences are another Blakstad feature. Through these natural ventilation methods, they manage to optimise building processes and create efficient installations.
It feels like there is a breeze blowing at every corner, making the hot summer days in Ibiza pleasant and thoroughly enjoyable.
Surrounded by a beautifully designed garden, this Blakstad house arises as a painting and represents one of our most popular holiday homes that will sweeten your vacations on the island in a traditional and modern way.
Near Santa Getrudis we find this amazing Blakstad-style finca: Villa Julian Blakstad . Even at first glance, you notice the perfect integration of the finca and its slightly pyramidal terraced garden into the hilly landscape.
The interior design again focuses on the combination of large spaces and natural light, interspersed with the typical wooden beams. The choice of materials illustrates the inclination to use environmentally friendly and locally sourced materials.
The fantastic terraces with thick wooden ceiling beams also preserve the rustic touch here and provide shade and coolness.
Villa Can Sophie is a typical Ibizan traditional finca farmhouse renovated by Blakstad Design Studio, fully in line with its motto, which is “to preserve the value of the worth in cultural tradition that can be applied to modern life.”
The unmistakable Blakstad style also shows here how straight, clear, white walls and traditional elements such as open brickwork and wooden beams are enhanced in harmony with the modern lifestyle.
If we close our eyes and turn back the wheel of time, we could see here, as watching an optical illusion picture, the original Ibizan cube house before us, even before the time of Christ, with oxen, donkeys and wooden carts in front of it. Then we open our eyes and see an Ibiza luxury villa and realise why Rolph Blakstad said: “Architecture is continuity.”
Our Villa Can Carina represents one of Ralf Blakstad newly built architectural works, hanging like a teardrop on a hilltop with a magnificent view of the countryside and the sea.
The Blakstad team also keeps the legacy of its founder alive with this contemporary finca: Organically woven into its surroundings, the entire holiday property feels like a kind of oasis, like a naturally evolved part of the landscape.
Sustainability is ensured by the solar panels and the ever-present ecological materials such as wood and stone. In this villa we encounter again the path that unites the wisdom of traditional architecture, top quality, modernity and design.
Well, what do you think of Ibiza’s Blakstad concept? Have we whetted a bit your appetite?
We directly assume that you’ve become a little curious after all, and if that is the case, you’re now spoilt for choice. Which of our Ibizan true art objects will you want to become your holiday home in Ibiza?
Once your choice is made, don’t hesitate to rent your unique Rolf Blakstad Villa through us and embark on one more journey during your holiday: a journey through time that begins with the Phoenicians and ends up in the comfort of luxurious modernity. And whether it’s dangling by the swimming pool, reading a book on the shady terrace or veranda, or inside the cool, white, straight walls, …. that we leave entirely up to you.
Rolf Blakstad Villas and Fincas:
You can book by calling +34 662629295 or by email at [email protected]
If you would like to know more about the architect, then you will find here the Link to him.
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