Article: Palma's Hippest 'hood

Mallorca Design District

Mar. 15, 2022

by Babak Babali

Mallorca's Design District's inauspicious beginnings could not have prepared southern Europe for what was to come.

Mallorca, Spain's largest island, and the capital of the Balearic autonomous community, is famous for many things, particularly its reputation as a high-end sun-and-sand tourism destination.

This has made Palma de Mallorca International Airport one of the busiest in Spain.

This has given the island community a highly cosmopolitan feel, with people from across Europe and the world regularly flocking to Mallorca. Some of them even end up as long-term residents of the region. Mallorca's charm is evidently not easy to escape!

In recent years, Mallorca has decided to offer the world more than a happy time and sunny weather. With top designers, fashionistas, architects, interior designers, and other creators from Spain and beyond settling down in Mallorca, the island has turned into a hub of trendiness, audacious design, and ambitious architecture.

A number of design companies have been launched over the last decade or so in the island's District 07180, in the municipality of Calviá.

A few other companies from mainland Spain and elsewhere, meanwhile, have set up headquarters or showrooms in District 07180, giving it the name Mallorca Design District—which is rather rakishly abbreviated as MADD.

The inception of MADD has been just the natural evolution of an already highly sophisticated local sector that for decades has been developing its know-how to conceive, build and deliver some of Europe’s most avant-garde villas or residential houses.

Talents and businesses involved in design and architecture just gravitated toward Calviá, this southeastern corner of the island of Mallorca, creating a snowball effect and attracting even more talents and businesses.

More than 32 companies are now based in Calviá, Mallorca, with Mallorca Design District having been formally launched as a private initiative with public support. After its serendipitous formation, Mallorca Design District now also enjoys the support of local authorities, including the town council of Calviá, as it is turning into a project of regional importance.

The companies with a presence in Mallorca Design District, however, can be divided into four main clusters: interior designers, lifestyle-related businesses, boutique construction companies, and real-estate developers.

The trendy district is now home to offices and showrooms of companies that design anything from apparel and accessories to furniture and even buildings. The initiative was presented at The Circle, which is home to the offices of over forty design initiatives. The Circle is covered by climbing plants, has a lush front garden, and boasts a green terrace, which all symbolize the initiative's commitment to sustainability.

Although currently architecture and interior design companies dominate the district, MADD is still evolving. “The plan is to schedule shows to promote art, design, and creativity in the district, turning this area into a new fashion destination," reads a statement on the initiative's website.

Whether you call it Mallorca Design District, District 07180, or MADD, the area is rapidly turning into a hotbed of creativity in Europe.

Chances are that many decorative objects, accessories, and items of furniture, among much else, that you will use in the coming years are currently just seeds of an idea, a sketch, or a prototype somewhere in Mallorca's Design District.