Architects have a long and illustrious history as chronologists of our times through the lens of the buildings where we live, work and worship. The book De architectura penned by Roman architect Marcus Vitruvius Pollio is the only treatise on architecture to survive ancient times. It was written between 20 and 30 BCE and was thankfully rediscovered by Florentine scholar Poggio Bracciolini in 1414, after which it was published as Ten Books on Architecture. It is Vitruvius who first coined the principles of firmits, utilitas, venustas (strength, utility and beauty). Principles by which many architects still swear.
Heavily influenced by Vitruvius’ book, the Italian architect Andrea Palladio published his own exposition in 1570 called I quattro libri dell’architettura or The Four Books of Architecture. It’s this book that has really stood the test of time and has become required reading. Since then, many great books have been written by many great architects and scholars. Tanizaki, Rasmussen, Venturi, Le Corbusier, Koolhaas, Wright and more have theorised and mused in print about the great art of architecture.
While we mere mortals here at Blakstad Design Consultants wouldn’t dream of putting ourselves on the same platform as these honoured architects, we do occasionally produce the odd tome here and there. The first book published under the Blakstad name was written by the studio’s founder, Rolph Blakstad. It was a great shame that he passed by the time it was released in 2013 as La Casa Eivissenca – the key to a millennial tradition. A culmination of a lifelong passion to study and preserve the traditional architecture of Ibiza, it has become the go-to book on the subject.
Filled with Rolph’s photography – produced over many years – and illustrated with his detailed hand-drawn images of houses and their accoutrements, this book has become a staple in the Ibizan library. Not only does it provide invaluable descriptions of ancient farmhouses now lost to time but also interviews with elderly builders and explanations of traditional crafts and processes. Offered only in Catalan for almost a decade, a beautiful English translation was finally published in 2021 with a lyrical forward by the studio’s current director and Rolph’s son, Rolf Blakstad.
It wasn’t until 2021 that it became apparent that the number of new projects added to the Blakstad stable required some form of documentation. Ibiza Blakstad Houses is a compendium of projects designed and built in Ibiza throughout the studio’s existence. Each page shows glossy images of astonishing villas set amongst the lush landscape of the island. It’s a celebration of the studio’s longevity and a testament to the evolving styles, techniques and tastes of the team and their clients.
The fourth book in the Blakstad catalogue is Ibiza House Design, released in 2022. This book is also brimming with gorgeous villas – those added to the Blakstad collection and not featured in the previous publication. Homes are displayed through sleek photography accompanied by a few paragraphs pinpointing the unique aspects of each design. The scope of Blakstad’s work continues to grow, now encompassing projects across the world. From the Spanish mainland and Europe to Africa, North America and the Caribbean, the Blakstad style seems to be happily adopted by clients everywhere. No doubt, there will soon be another book on the horizon – this time celebrating the work developed across the globe. In the meantime, you can purchase from the Blakstad collection via this link. Happy reading!