Program - Residential Interior Design
Location - Valletta, Malta
Year completed - 2017
Photographer - Luca Noto
In the heart of Malta's Baroque Capital city, Valletta, is a pied-a-terre from the early 19th century. The renovation process was thoroughly considered to renovate the space to modern standards while retaining those characteristic that define the space; the vintage patterned Maltese cement tiles, the wooden apertures, high ceilings with wooden & steel beams, and the old, thick limestone walls with uneven textures.
When we initially arrived at this empty home, it was devoid of life and had a strong sense of abandonment. The network cables used by Malta's first broadcaster, Rediffusion Malta, as well as British standard round 3 pin power plugs and complementary sockets were part of the services that date back to the early 1900s. Small format ceramic tiles with a white and purple pattern covered the bathroom's walls. There was also an old cast iron bathtub, Victorian-style sanitary equipment, and mixers and water pipes that were no longer in excellent working order. Each layer of the apartment's walls' chipped and flaking paint revealed a fresh hue that had been painted on throughout the years.
This apartment was renovated specifically for a young couple who chose to live in the center of a culturally diverse and rapidly thriving capital, in contrast to the majority of renovations taking place in the city at the time. The design of the apartment was based on the "casa bottega" way of living because the city is an ideal location for living and working. Consequently, the layout of the room was changed to provide room for a shared foyer that acts as a separate entrance to the living and working areas. A monolithic micro cement floor that extends into the new bathroom floor and walls has been installed in place of the more modern-looking floor tiles that had been removed. A stark white kitchen with Bianco Carrara surfaces was installed in the cramped and dark area, which was then opened up and connected to the neighboring room to create an open-concept kitchen, living, and dining area. All of the structures were retained as plain and accurate statements of their era as possible by leaving the steel beams visible and painting them white. With this goal in mind, no ceilings or walls were covered, exposing all the worn, uneven, and rough textures of the thick, crooked walls, imbedded steel beams, and limestone slabs called "Xorok." The spacious Maltese balcony, the internal doors, and all the amenities were updated to meet modern standards while preserving and restoring the character of the original floor tiles.