39 SIR ARTURO MERCIECA
Program - Residential development
Location - Sliema, Malta
Year completed - 2020
Originally a late 19th century Maltese townhouse our intervention on this building commenced by carefully dismantling architectural elements within the house which consisted of stone architraves and a Victorian era cast iron fireplace. These elements were numbered, stored and eventually restored and reconstructed within the new development.
The existing two story façade of the townhouse including the timber apertures & a Maltese balcony was retained and restored. The top part of the old façade including the elegant building cornice was carefully dismantled and rebuilt in order to replace the large spanned limestone flat arch which was found to be structurally unsound.
The design of the extended façade belonging to the new floors was designed in a sensitive and subtle way to reflect the character of the existing townhouse. This was done by retaining the same void-to-solid ratio, widths and alignments of the openings and by keeping the scale and character of the new balconies inline with the existing façade. The recessed limestone cornice details present around the existing openings were replicated on all the new openings so that the façade could be read as one. The design of the new steel railings found inspiration from the existing wrought iron in the arched fan lights above the building's main doors.
Great emphasis was also given to the internal planning of the development. The common area was designed in such a way to cross ventilate and mitigate the island's hot climate temperatures by providing vented apertures at ground floor and roof level whilst all roof slabs were adequately insulated.