RESOURCE   "Mallorca Meeting"

Santanyí - In love with a stone or how the Santanyí stone conquers hearts.

Maren and Hans-Peter Oehm design and build unique country houses and villas on Mallorca with their architecture firm Piedra de Santanyí. The typical Santanyí sandstone serves as their inspiration.
TEXT   isla editorial office (bw)
PHOTO   Piedra de Santanyí, Klocke Verlag Klaus Lorke
Finca Son Salomo in Santanyí

When Hans-Peter Oehm talks about his stone, it sounds like a declaration of love. He gently strokes the sandstone wall in his office and raves about its special color and texture. He fell so much in love with this Santanyí stone that he even named his company after it many years ago: Piedra de Santanyí.

Hans-Peter Oehm and his wife Maren are an interior architect and designer couple and have been building unique country houses and villas from this very stone on Mallorca for almost 20 years. "I love this stone," says Hans-Peter Oehm. "Our houses have a traditional Mallorcan style on the outside, including the materials. Inside, however, they are often modern. The texture and color of the Santanyí stone always inspire me to create new details on the building and also in the furnishings. I plan from the inside out, in harmony with the future residents and the surroundings."

They remain true to this philosophy in every project: the couple plans the houses together and does not distinguish between architecture and interior design. They combine high German standards with Mediterranean charm. In most cases, they take care of the entire process - from the search for a plot of land, planning permission, design and implementation to hanging the final curtains. This is a great advantage for clients, who have a single point of contact on site throughout the entire process. For them, the philosophy also includes working with the same Mallorcan teams of craftsmen and mainly using regional and natural materials.

It all started in 1998 with a vacation home. Maren Oehm was a student at the École Camondo in Paris, he was the owner of an architecture and design office in Cologne.

When it was once again particularly gray in Central Europe, the young couple wanted to escape to the sun. They came to Santanyí, bought an old vacation home and renovated it. "I saw the sea for the first time when I was eight years old," says Hans-Peter Oehm. "From then on, I only ever dreamed of the sea and knew that I wanted to live on the coast one day." When he grew up and looked out over the Mediterranean from his small fishing boat, he asked himself: why not stay?

The couple finally decided to move to the island with their two daughters. "I immediately liked Santanyí because it was so authentic," recalls Maren Oehm. "There was only one supermarket back then, but it was a small place away from tourism. That was particularly important to us; we wanted our children to grow up in a normal little town and not in a purely touristy place."

Santanyí - Stone - Building and living in Mallorca

The traditional Mallorcan architectural style

In harmony: the houses have a traditional Mallorcan style on the outside and are often modern on the inside.

Spend your vacation in a townhouse designed and restored by Piedra de Santanyí in the heart of Santanyí:

"We have already saved many houses ... "
Hans-Peter Oehm in conversation with isla

Santanyí is the Oehms' second great passion. For many years, they have been working hard to preserve the historic townhouses in the village. "We have already saved many houses and have also received great approval from the town hall. We are very proud of that. Even if it actually started as a hobby," says Hans-Peter Oehm. The idea for Living Houses Santanyí was born on a trip together. The couple have now restored many old townhouses, four of which are rented out to guests on a daily or weekly basis. The highlight: they offer the intimate privacy of your own home combined with comfortable hotel service.

However, the newly built houses remain the core business. The Oehms look for a plot of land on behalf of the client, produce a design and then plan the house from the inside out, right down to the garden. The color shades of the stone are used again and again. In some cases, the couple even design their own furniture.

"We are involved in every single step, which is great fun. In the past in Germany, I wasn't able to provide such intensive support," says Hans-Peter Oehm. Nowadays, customers usually approach the couple on their own initiative and the chemistry is usually right.

This is also important to both of them when working with the craftsmen. "There is a completely different construction method here that you can't compare with Germany. After all, there are also completely different requirements due to the high humidity and sun. What's more, although our materials are of a very high quality, they are also very sensitive. That's why we deliberately work with local architects and craftsmen, because they know the materials best. Then all we have to do is combine the Spanish mentality with German standards," says Hans-Peter Oehm. But the Oehms don't seem to be afraid of the Mallorcans - and vice versa.

"I'm from Cologne and not exactly shy of contact," jokes Hans-Peter Oehm. "We've always said that we're coming to integrate and not to live in a German enclave."

When asked if there are ever arguments between the couple when they work so closely together, she immediately answers no and he promptly answers yes. They look at each other puzzled and have to laugh. "We never argue about fundamental decisions or aesthetic details because we think very similarly," says Maren Oehm. "But I'm very perfectionist," counters Hans-Peter Oehm. "I question everything and check several times. That's sometimes very exhausting and it leads to discussions. But we always find a common consensus."

The two of them are a well-rehearsed team, you can tell right away. A team that has found its dream and continues to pursue it. And Hans-Peter Oehm is clear about one thing: "The sea, the light, the stone - nobody can get me away from here!".

Piedra de Santanyí
A stone to fall in love with

Take a vacation in this townhouse in Santanyí

The Casa Luna townhouse was planned and realized in an authentic and modern way:
always in harmony with the future residents and the surroundings.
Casa Luna townhouse dining room

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