Excavating Utzon

_ Lise Juel restoring Can Lis

Lise Juel was appointed by the Utzon Foundation in 2011 to restore Jørn Utzon´s iconic house Can Lis in Mallorca. Can Lis is acknowledged as one of the most important houses built in the 20th century.

The purpose of the restoration was to transform it into a residence for artists. The restoration was completed in 2012.

The philosophy behind the restoration emerge from a thorough study of Can Lis’ fundamental nature. After this study it was possible to discard the impact of the architectural masterpiece and instead consider the building as a spatially varied landscape, with a range of potentials that could be optimized.

With the same grid of Marés stone and the spatial narrative as a compass, a process of the constant challenge and excavation of ideas and technical solutions took place during the restoration. I was determined to make minimal physical interventions, with great spatial impact. Whenever the right solution seemed to appear, it had to be extracted into an even simpler and stronger one. In essence first after having extracted my ideas innumerable times, finally the solutions began to seem in accord and harmony with the spatial nature of Can Lis.