Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - 19:12
Fashion show producer, art director and designer Alexandre de Betak lounges in the sitting room of his remote island home in the northern Tramuntana hills above Deia, Majorca, in this month’s episode of In Residence. Like almost every other room at Son Muntaner, the house has a devastating view of the Mediterranean sea, and during summer evenings when the sun finally sinks into the water, each of its undulating walls turn neon pink. The subtle light show evokes the spirit De Betak brings to his work––whether it’s a multi-sensory Dior Couture set or a Star Wars-themed Rodarte installation, the transient spectacles he creates are meticulously designed under Bureau Betak, the company he has helmed for two decades. “The house I did for myself, my family and my friends,” he says. “There’s no ‘work-for-hire’ there, it’s incredibly personal.”
Outside, the façade of the classical Majorquian finca nestling among an expanse of olive groves belies its playful interior: curvaceous, white plastered walls are punctuated with quirky design details such as Darth Vader candles, R2-D2 lamps, rock-encased computer screens, 1970s pin-ups (“they’re my mascots––I don’t move without them”), and a Flinstones-inspired tub. “I love that kind of binary, communitarian, organic white architecture of the 1960s and 1970s,” the producer explains of the interior. Despite his refusal to conform to classic architecture conventions, De Betak’s home appears to have very few ticks on the standard mid-century design checklist––but on closer inspection, one sees collectible Joe Colombo Elda chairs, a Sergio Asti profiterole lamp, British custom-made plumbing (to ensure that a shower chez De Betak lasts no less than 30 minutes), and, naturally, a wall tap that produces endless red wine.