Hevresac: Where Menorcan History Meets Contemporary Elegance
Experience the fusion of past and present at Hevresac, a hotel meticulously designed by Emma Martí. Situated in the heart of Maó’s historic district in Spain, this once 18th-century home has been transformed into an oasis of contemporary luxury, while honoring the legacy of its storied past.
From preserving the distinct architecture of Joan Roca Vivent’s residence to infusing the edifice with radiant natural light, Hevresac is where Menorcan vernacular aesthetics and modern design effortlessly intertwine.
Redefining Historic Spaces
The project aimed to breathe new life into a historic hotel, preserving its architectural beauty. An 18th (and early 19th) century single-family home was transformed into an 8-room hotel spanning five levels: the basement, ground floor, first, second, and attic floors.
Sitting at the Heart of Maó
Nestled between Maó (Menorca)’s iconic streets, Anuncivay and Sant Ferran, the building once housed Joan Roca Vivent. For five decades, Roca Vivent penned the “Chronicle of Maó,” highlighting European cultural influences, primarily from England’s 71-year reign, and to a lesser extent, Spain’s 15 years and France’s 7.
Owners Ignasi Truyol and Stephanie Mahé saw potential in the aging structure. Despite its dimly lit rooms, they believed in its inherent magic and charm. Consequently, local architect and childhood friend, Emma Martí, was tasked with rejuvenating the space.
Innovative Design Meets Tradition
Hevresac sits on a uniquely trapezoidal plot. Hence, room shapes vary—rectangular rooms parallel the long party wall, while rooms facing Sant Ferran street adopt a trapezoidal form.
Martí’s intervention aimed to achieve two goals: preserve architectural elements and infuse the space with light.
Preserving the façade’s sash windows was crucial. For enhanced thermal and acoustic comfort, a spacious double window was installed, offering uninterrupted views. Similarly, for room access, a double wooden skin was designed for the doors, maintaining the aura of bygone eras.
Materials chosen respected the building’s history. Solid autoclave-treated Flanders pine served for exterior windows, and a three-layer fir wood marked a modern transition for interior doors. The design philosophy was to blend the building’s British roots with the authentic beauty of Menorcan aesthetics, sprinkled with modern touches.
Original hydraulic mosaic floor tiles and wooden parquets remained. Where original materials couldn’t be retained, alternatives like microcement were used, mimicking original materials. The uncovering of stuccos and original paintings revealed hidden tales of the building.
Leveraging Natural Light
To usher in natural light, skylights were introduced on the upper floor and new openings crafted in the façade. The marès stone vaulted basement ceiling was reconfigured to increase brightness, complementing the new staircase connecting the ground floor.
Another skylight illuminated the main stairwell, adding a contemporary touch with its steel and three-layer spruce board structure.
Sustainable materials like wood and cork were essential. Joinery and flooring were reused, and fir wood distinguished new modifications from original elements. Insulation with black cork on façades and roofs improved thermal efficiency.
Adopting a sustainable energy model was paramount for Ignasi and Stephanie. They incorporated a heat pump system, aerothermic air conditioning, and osmotic water distribution. Additionally, their commitment to local, organic products and sustainable practices earned them the Biosphere Reserve seal from the Consell Insular de Menorca.
A Modern Historical Retreat
Hevresac offers a unique blend of history and modern luxury. Common areas exude warmth, inviting guests to work, play, or cook in a well-equipped kitchen. It’s more than just a hotel—it’s a haven of creativity and curiosity.
Photography by Pol Viladoms
Visit Emma Martí- by Matt Watts