I met Irene and Jaume for the first time in the classrooms and corridors of the ETSAV (Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura del Vallés), probably one day in the September of 1994, just a few days after boarding this immense ship called Architecture. At that time, we ignored its complex but indispensable navigation charts and knew nothing about the ship’s routes nor the islands where it would stop. We just had the illusion of sailing, and it was enough.
For those happy coincidences of life, we immediately formed a group of classmates that quickly became a group of good friends. We were 18 years old. A lot of things happened in the school of architecture during those years but, we were growing up together and it is, perhaps, because of this that the really important experiences took place during holidays - summer or winter - times in which we would travel together, sketchbooks under our arms, cameras hanging over the shoulder, and a compass pointing to the works of great masters. However, the trips I remember today with a wider smile are not the magnificent ones to discover Le Corbusier, Borromini, Mies or Wright, but the modest trips we took to follow Jaume’s proposal to discover the landscapes of his native island. Since then, for me, the landscapes of Mallorca are landscapes of friendship, as there is something more than the houses of the masters over there, there are houses of friends.
Long before Irene and Jaume built anything there, we tasted the flavours of Mallorca and explored every corner. We talked a lot about architecture, of course. From the first stays on the island, Jaume took us from Can Lis to Ciudad Blanca, from the Miró Foundation to the walls under the Cathedral, from the Son Pou cave to the Galdent quarry. Over the years and following his car, we drove hundreds of miles, discovering houses, buildings, lost villages, or anonymous constructions of farmers and fishermen. But in fact, to get to the spot where we really connected with the island, we didn't have to move at all. Sa Caseta was a small country house on the outskirts of Montuïri that we borrowed from Jaume’s parents when we were there. A few years later, when Irene and Jaume left Barcelona to go to Mallorca together, they lived there for some time. It was in Sa Caseta that their first projects were conceived. Drawings and models were stacked in a small space under the roof which they used as their studio. From time to time, when we would arrive to invade them for a few days, it was the place where we would leave our backpacks.