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Painter and sculptor Cyril de Commarque on creating a panoramic sanctuary high in the protected woodlands in the north of the island.

There are memorable views – and then there’s the view from Can Draco. Elevated above the Cala Xarraca coastline, the clifftop villa overlooks the ocean and is almost enveloped by Jurassic-like forest. For artist owner Cyril de Commarque, it’s the dream setting. “When I first drove down the path to the house, I was amazed by the fact that it’s completely protected all around,” he recalls. “There are no other houses; there’s nothing except the view. It’s magic.”

Magic is the operative word. When Cyril bought Can Draco back in 2015, it had something of an enchanted castle look about it. “It was completely absurd,” he laughs. “With all these towers.” Working with the parts of the structure that could be retained, Cyril wanted to create something “architecturally interesting” that felt at one with its surroundings. He has succeeded. Wherever you are in the house, the landscape is in sight. “The absurdity of the original home was that there was no view,” he recalls. “Now each space has a fantastic outlook, either to a peaceful landscape or seascape.”

Every picture window acts like a frame for nature, he muses – and every inch of the home showcases the artist’s touch. “The idea was very much to play with the original shapes and angles and create a sense of space.” In the process, the original tower has been preserved and now accommodates two spectacular circular bathtubs with uninterrupted vistas out to sea – rooms that Cyril describes as “not bad”, with some understatement. “That’s the great thing about living here,” he reiterates. “This sense of space.” Breathing room is certainly plentiful; wide, open-plan living areas lead out to vast swathes of protected natural park that in turn tumble down to meet the waves.

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“There are no other houses; there’s nothing except the view. It’s magic”

In many ways, Can Draco feels like an extension of the landscape – especially since several rooms were originally cut into the rock. In Cyril’s reimagined home, natural materials continue to play a starring role. The large format windows are carved from local wood, mineral-based stone covers almost every surface, and the colour palette leans on earthy, dusty tones. Outside, the Mediterranean garden has been planted with the environment in mind, with hardy plants chosen to conserve water.

Seven years in the making, the lengthy transformation process means the house is even more connected to its setting, Cyril believes. “The great thing was that I got to live in the house in its original form. When people design houses, they should stay there for a week or two first, on camp on site for a few days if there is no existing building,” he affirms. “Then you get to really know where the breeze comes from, where the early morning light hits – these are all fundamental considerations when designing a house.”

Here, the result is a villa for all the senses – from the living room’s cinema-like window angled towards the sunset (“you don’t need your phone; everything is there. You can spend the day just contemplating”) to the soundtrack of birds and rolling waves. “There’s a great silence here; a stillness,” Cyril reflects. “When you look out of the window, you don’t see another house. In Ibiza, this is almost non-existent.”

“The absurdity of the original home was that there was no view. Now each space has a fantastic outlook, either to an empty landscape or a seascape”

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Aside from the villa’s immediate position, its location within the laid-back north of the island adds to the appeal for Cyril. “For me, this is the best part of the island, there’s no doubt about it. It’s the most protected region with the best beaches yet you’re still only half an hour drive from Ibiza Town. You have quite a creative community around, too. People who work in theatre, music and art. There’s an interesting, more discreet crowd in the north.”

Having designed Can Draco himself, Cyril approached the creative undertaking much like he approaches a blank canvas or new sculpture. “The themes are the same as in my art. Ecology, progress and our relationship with nature. That is what my art is about and that is what this house is about. It has the same feeling,” he muses. “Can Draco is not an architect’s house; it’s an artist’s house.”

Can Draco is for sale for €19,500,000