Location: Birkirkara, Malta
Status: Complete 2014
Project Team: Steven Risiott, Patricia Grech
Photography: Alex Attard
Assigned the task of converting a dilapidated modernist townhouse to accommodate the contemporary lifestyle of its new tenants, our approach was simple and straightforward; to remove any accretions, de-clutter the space, emphasise the architectural proportions and breathe life back into the abandoned property.
The most stunning characteristics of this property, as is typical of modernist architecture, is the distinct puncturing of light, its resulting play of shadows and the carefully studied spatial proportions
Retaining, albeit polishing, the original terrazzo floors meant carefully routing the services through a combination of suspended ceilings and false walls in such a way so as not to alter the proportions of the space. Since the flooring varied from one room to the next, a monolithic, solid black, quartz sill was installed to serve as a threshold beneath each internal door, further emphasising the length and width of the corridors.
A rather significant architectural intervention entailed lowering the entire garden, previously subdivided into two raised platforms, whilst retaining the trees. This allowed the open plan to extend into the garden whilst providing a continuous green backdrop to all apertures at the back end of the property.
Other noteworthy interventions entailed remodelling the original staircase railing and cladding as well as the design of the front door which doubles up as wall cladding system concealing infrastructural requirements resulting from the introduction of an ensuite bathroom at first floor.
The minimalistic approach was carried through as a guiding principal in the design of a number of other bespoke furniture elements displaced throughout the property. This was done through the use of natural materials, the reflection of existing proportions, clean lines and deflected light.