The project involves the functional, aesthetic and energetic remodel of a single-family house and its exterior areas of relevance, positioned on the island of Malta in an isolated site far from urban centers.
The existing structure, recently built using local stone masonry, was introverted and surrounded by property walls that inhibited any visual relationship with the context. The villa consisted of merged volumes without any particular compositional value and lacked a coherent architectural language. Distribution of interior and exterior spaces were very fragmented and inadequate to the lifestyle of the new owner.
The main interventions include:
• the demolition of enclosure walls very close to the building and the incorporation of new exterior areas of relevance, enclosed by low rubble walls according to the Maltese tradition, with the result of enhancing the spectacular views towards the surrounding environment and the sea;
• the creation of a Mediterranean garden with the planting of olive trees, carob trees and shrub species that are local and typical of the Mediterranean scrub;
• the creation of thermally broken windows characterized by high-performance glass, with opaque surfaces composed of an outer coating in Sardinian blond cork panels and ventilated façade made of Pietra Santafiora slabs (very similar to the local stone of the neighboring island of Gozo but with much higher mechanical properties);
• the reconstruction of all the water, electricity, thermal and lighting systems, the latter carefully studied also and above all from an architectural point of view;
• the inclusion of a new volume on the roof and a new internal distribution that allows the living area to expand towards the external spaces and towards the garden, blurring the boundaries of interior and outdoor spaces.
• an extensive use of natural materials like hard limestone, marble, travertine, basalt, corten steel, copper and wood, allow to be harmoniously integrated with the palette colors of the Mediterranean landscape
The spectacular sea view has suggested completing the building with the inclusion of two horizontal planes parallel to the horizon line. One in the upper part with the addition of a cantilever roof and the second in the lower part with the construction of a plateau suspended on the surrounding landscape.
• The cantilever roof wraps, links and connects all the volumes and all the internal and external spaces giving a new overall image. A simple copper-clad form finished with a rich wood soffit, gives a new compositional harmony to the whole and overlaps a new layer without imposing itself, generating a new aesthetic without upsetting the existing form.
The form is presented in some sections with slight overhangs and other sections with significant changes (about 5m), some solid sections and some open, and then continues visually beyond along tops of the ancient olive trees in the garden. Functionally, this allows us to generate new covered outdoor spaces, sheltered from wind, weather and strong solar radiation. Visually, the cantilever frames the spectacular views of the surrounding landscape while providing a framework for the integration of lighting, sound and security systems in an efficient and discrete way.
• The plateau, also of almost square shape, defines the areas of everyday life and almost appears suspended on the surrounding landscape on the East and South-East sides, intercepting the infinity pool on the North and North-West side and a garden on the West and South-West side planted with large olive trees and typical Mediterranean shrubs.
“PERALTA – design &consulting”, is an award-winning practice specialized in the design of public and private architecture, interior design, urban and landscape design with a specific interest in experimentation and application of environmentally sensitive technologies.
The studio has an internal staff of interior designers, architects, landscape architects and engineers. Luca Peralta, the founder and the director, is a registered engineer and architect: member of the Italian Association of Building and Environmental Engineers and the Architects Registration Board of London, UK.
PERALTA’s project and research always trie to blur and to cross the boundaries of different disciplines, to allow the proliferation of new and highly creative design in a continuous and fluid contamination of different design fields and typologies.