I heard whispers of an exciting project; the likes of which Palma hasn’t seen before. There was talk that the designer Danish Mikal Harrsen was coming to Mallorca to be part of a unique project in Son Espanyolet, Palma.
I needed to know more so contacted John Candia Massey from Besuto Homes, a property development business with a difference - creating unique, luxury family homes and if the rumour was true that they were to be working with Studio Mikal Harrsen on one of the largest private family houses in this area.
John confirmed the news and invited me to meet Mikal the following week. As a fellow Scandinavian, you cannot help but be impressed with Mikal’s design pedigree. His first independent studio was founded in 2000 in Copenhagen, focusing on architecture, interiors, and product design.
The studio won 2 international design awards, including RedDot Awards, IF Award, a nomination for The Design Award of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Compasso D’oro Honorable Mention, Archiproduct Awards, Communication Arts Award amongst many others. His successful career collaborations have included clients Royal Copenhagen, MA/U Studio, Boffi, Delta Faucet, Illums Bolighus, Design Editions, Dali Speakers, Rex Kralj and more. Besides his design success Mikal founded the design brands MA/U Studio in Copenhagen (2011) and DESIGN EDITIONS in Milan.
In 2017, a major part of MA/U Studio was acquired by DePadova as part of the Boffi Group. Today Studio Mikal Harrsen is based in Milan whilst still maintaining a studio in Copenhagen.
I meet Mikal and John at Palma Tennis Club and following our exchange of the normal Scandi greetings, I asked John why he wanted to work with Mikal? John is animated in his response “when we initially looked at this project, we knew we had to do something really special. We discussed a few brands but the Boffi / De Padova brand really stood out in terms of the look, feel and quality we were after.
Delving further into the Boffi brand we really liked the design philosophy of Studio Mikal Harrsen and decided to reach out and explain who we were and what our intention was for this exciting new project for Besuto Homes. I can see how genuinely excited John is about this collaboration as he goes on to say, “from our very first Zoom call and the subsequent project concepts produced by the Studio we decided that Mikal was the right man for the job.
We’ve had several Zooms and many emails over the course of the pandemic with a few aborted trips due to travel restrictions but when Mikal did finally join us here and met with our local architects Ignacio Arzubialde and Jose Morell Planas the design chemistry was immediate, and the contract was signed.”
Mikal says “I’ve been busy from the moment I arrived on the island, meeting with local craftsmen and collaborators and given it’s my first time in Mallorca I’ve been really impressed with what I’ve seen so far and the attention to detail from the companies we’ve met have put into their designs and interior products”. He continues, “the primary focus of our Studio is centred around interior design and product design.
Our relocation to Italy’s design and fashion capital has broadened its ability to work closely with several leading brands and manufacturers and has thus increased our offer and services to clients globally. The Studio offers a full-scale architectural and design consultancy for the projects we are engaged in, from sketching and R&D through to development and construction, production and delivers complete turnkey solutions.
This is a really exciting and unique project for the Studio and I’m really happy to be driving this forward.” Johnadds, “Mikal has a very different way of looking at materials and how they can be used to not only look wonderful but also how they offer added benefits whether that is added texture or sound reduction etc. We have visited a lot of Majorca’s manufacturers and craftsman such as HUGUET in Campos and have some unique ideas on how their products could be used in our project. The house will offer a range of bespoke products including a number from Majorca as 0km.”
It’s clear from my meeting with John and Mikal that this Besuto Homes project in collaboration with Arzubialde and Harrsen is raising the bar and setting new standards for urban living and leisure in Palma. As we continue to chat and they enjoy the tennis clubs’ infamous double espressos, John goes on to reveal that the homes owners will be gifted a ‘one-off coffee table book’ of its complete design heritage. The book will be curated by Mikal and written by journalist and design aficionado Ivan Carvalho. It will include and explain every design detail, every partner, every collaborator - from the first stone laid to the last piece of furniture to ensure that it is design history will be documented forever for its future owners.
As we say hej då John tells me “Besuto means ‘best’ in Japanese, and we believe this beautiful family home is going to mean best in many languages when complete”. On that note we wish him the best of luck.