Analytical Models

Student(s): Adrian Richter, Baptista Lopes, Bianca Eriksson

Title: Can Lis

Course: Analytical Models AR0121 - 2017

Can Lis was built in 1972. The house marked the end of Jorn Utzon’s escape from Australia,  after the dispute about the  costs of the Sydney opera house  escalated. Can Lis, named after  his wife Lis Fenger, consists of five pavilions beaded along  a steep cliff on the southern  coast of Mallorca.

Breaking down Utzon’s construction and  way of thinking, a group of elements compose his “montage like” architecture. The standard elements shown represent the house not only structure wise, but in feeling and ambience; representing a greater system of assembly and tradition, the parts are a direct translation of Utzon’s  additive architecture in Can Lis.

Time, light and space have a strong presence in Can Lis. One could compare its organisation  with that of a calendar structure. The separate volumes of the building address different rituals  and are arranged according to the sun’s course  over the day, resembling a sundial. The solid sandstone with its weathered surface represents permanence, giving the impression that the  structure was directly carved out of the cliff.

The visitor is greeted by a crescent moonshaped opening cut out of a mosaic wall, offering a glimpse of the cliffs and the blue sea beyond. From here follows a wide range of framings towards the exterior and openings between rooms and spaces, visually guiding and heightening the visitor’s sense of awareness in  the building. 

The house was designed around the Utzon family’s daily routine. For every activity there is a designated place and a designated time,  resulting in an almost choreographic way of living. Through adjusting the spaces to particular activities, the house renders routines into rituals. Place and time are defined by the sun, encouraging the inhabitant to move through the “pearl string” of pavilions throughout the day.