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  • Arts & Culture
  • Design
  • Issue 41

Tile Making
in Mallorca.

Biel Huguet charts the history of his island in colorful cement.
Words by Baya Simons. Photography by Marina Denisova.

It was the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona that changed the fate of Mallorca, the Balearic island off the coast of Spain. In the decades leading up to the Olympics, the once sleepy island—a midpoint between Europe and North Africa—had been shocked awake by a mass influx of British vacationers in search of cheap sunshine. The surge of tourism had led to the destruction of traditional Mallorcan architecture to make way for modern hotels and holiday homes.1 

But Barcelona’s Olympic tourists were different, keen to discover the cultural charms of Catalonia: its Moorish architecture, distinctive cuisine and the fantastical, omnipresent influence of Gaudí. All these interests eventually pointed visitors toward Mallorca, the nearest island to the city. “They wanted a kind of Tuscany, ” recalls Biel Huguet, director of tile manufacturer Huguet. “They said, ‘I want a house, but I don’t want this rubbish you built in the ’80s or ’90s. I want traditional materials. I


This story is from Kinfolk Issue Forty-One

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