In the Mediterranean the architecture is not limited to concrete, cement and other contemporary materials, but covers areas as large as might be the elements of human intervention in nature.
This is the case of the fig trees in Formentera (ficus carica), that thanks to a popular “construction” model perfected throughout the generations has given personality to the fig trees in this island, making them a unique case in the world.
The farmer’s intentions here have always been the same: to minimize the surface exposed to the wind on the tree canopy, to prevent the branches from reaching the ground because they would root again, and the most fundamental: to provide shelter to the livestock.
In the narrowest strip of the island can be found the fig tree known as “Na Blanca d’en Mestre”, a true marvel of nature that meets 96 years of live and has broken all records becoming the most famous and extensive of the island with its 365 square meters.
The 142 struts that hold the branches of this tree (estalons) serve to transmit the vertical load of the branches to the ground. They are reused logs of pine trees, ullastre trees and sabina trees, with the upper end shaped like a “Y” to support the fig tree branches and the bottom recessed approximately 15 centimeters in to the ground to prevent the animals from moving them.
The conventional wisdom has opted for the horizontal development of the branches from which it grows one of the most typical products of Formentera, the fig.
This type of architecture can only be appreciated in Formentera, because in Ibiza, the rest of the Balearic Islands and the other islands of the Mediterranean have no fig trees like these ones.