The Gesa building as it is currently. | Pilar Pellicer


José Ferragut Pou was the architect responsible for the Gesa building in Palma. A highly respected architect, other works for which he was responsible included La Porciúncula, the 'glass church' in Arenal. The project for the Gesa building was approved in 1963. Ferragut didn't live to see it. He was murdered in 1968. Two rent boys initially imprisoned for the murder were released, and the case was hushed up.

There are those who see no great architectural merit in the building, while others praise it as an outstanding example of modern office architecture. In Mallorca, it was certainly innovative, although it took until 1977 for it to be officially inaugurated.

The building was a landmark, as it still is, but its degradation has been there for all to see. Endesa, of which Gesa became a part in 1983, finally and totally left the building in 2008, having sold it, the site and 20,000 square metres of adjoining land for 74 million euros in 2004.

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By the time the last Endesa employee switched off the lights, the building was already the focus of huge controversy and of the courts. The plan was to knock it down and build 200 luxury apartments. But in 2007, the Council of Mallorca declared the building an asset in the cultural interest, a declaration which took many aback, not least the developers, because it gave the building protected status.

There were then years of legal and political battles - compensation was only one aspect of these - until Palma town hall and Endesa reached an agreement in January 2021. Which is as far as the story goes; for now. Various uses have been proposed over the years. These have included conversion into a hotel, which the Council of Mallorca wasn't keen on because of its declaration.

Under the 2021 agreement, the building is supposedly meant to be used - as it always was - for administrative purposes. Endesa will privately manage part of the building, while the town hall will have a couple of floors for municipal offices and a headquarters for innovative projects related to energy.

But almost two years on, it's uncertain as to when these plans will be realised.