ritchie*studio - The Brewhouse and Trident Park in Malta, inspired by the Knights Templar’s palaces
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The Brewhouse and Trident Park in Malta, inspired by the Knights Templar’s palaces


Office&Business  /  Completed

The client, Simonds Farsons Cisk plc, had recently vacated their listed Art Deco 1950’s home, and a new use was required for the original brewery buildings. In 2013 ritchie*studio won an invited international architectural competition to masterplan and reimagine those buildings. Working to the inspired brief by Fourth Street, we imagined a place that brought together the old and the new, allowing the next generation of Maltese entrepreneurs to be inspired by their more established counterparts. We imagined a radical reinterpretation of the office environment, drawing inspiration from the Knights Templar’s palaces while prioritising genuine sustainability through the wisdom of centuries-old local, vernacular environmental practices.

The project is sited neatly within the Birkirkara/ Mrieħel area, it acknowledges the Brewhouse as the tallest nearby landmark, and respects the adjacent low-rise urban quality. This opposes the recent high-rise structures within the Maltese landscape. The site’s southern and western edge are bordered by Farsons working brewery and to the north lies the beautiful seventeenth-century stone arched Wignacourt Aqueduct beyond the main road. To the east is the main vehicular access. Trident Park’s six landscaped courtyards, separate seven new low-rise stepped mixed-use buildings. The buildings cover only 43% of the site, and the courtyard gardens are designed around orchard fruit of varying hues, incorporating external shared vertical circulation cores that echo these colours.

The ambition was to create workspaces without air conditioning. This was accomplished using east/west-facing opening windows providing optimum ventilation. The project achieved a 55% reduction in carbon footprint compared to Malta’s standard. Utilising locally sourced materials for the buildings’ shell reduced imports while delivering very low-maintenance structures. The Life Cycle Analysis demonstrates a 73% reduction in operational carbon emissions. On-site solar energy meets all mechanical plant electricity demand. A Thermally Active Building System using 16-17 deg. C water cools the floor slabs overnight, significantly reducing the energy required day-to-day. With a target of attaining BREAM Excellent the project is awaiting final certification.

The project has surpassed the client’s ambition for a place combining heritage and modernity, an environment where commerce, culture and industrial history coexist harmoniously, and exciting spaces for the next generation of Maltese entrepreneurs, international organisations and discerning tourists. This was achieved by restoring and transforming the 7,000m2 Art Deco style Brewhouse into a thriving, interactive, and thrilling composition of spaces, yet retaining its distinct ambiance as a former gravity-fed brewery. New roof openings and geometric voids within old structural walls and floors have transformed the dark interior into interconnected spaces bathed in natural light. The fermentation vats have been converted into unique co-working and collaboration spaces, while old storage and process spaces have been transformed into microbreweries, exhibitions, meeting rooms and cafés where visitors can immerse themselves in Farsons’ renowned hospitality while exploring the experiential museum. The many terraces afford beautiful panoramic views across the island to Mdina and Valletta. Beyond the retained 200-metre-long Art Deco colonnade lie Trident Park’s six landscaped courtyards, separating seven new low-rise stepped mixed-use buildings covering 15,000m2. The meticulously designed courtyard gardens offer a sensory haven to be enjoyed by occupants, visitors, and public.

For the people who used to work here, at the brewery, the transformation is especially emotional and tangible for them. People are generally quite pleasantly surprised by the site’s openness, which is unique in Malta. Moreover, most people have never been to this brewery building before. So, they are in awe when they visit, especially given that from the outside the building doesn’t seem to have changed much, yet it doesn’t really feel or look like anything else on the island. Louis Farrugia


 Simonds Farsons Cisk PLC and Trident Park Ltd (subsidiary of Trident Estates PLC)
 Workspaces, museum, event spaces, bars, restaurants, conference hall, co-working spaces, public gardens.
 22000 mq
  80,000,000.00 €
 Ian Ritchie, Anthony Summers, Gordon Talbot, Christopher Russell (BREEAM Assessor), Karl Singporewala, Tomasz Bąbski, Tania Oramas Dorta, Anthony Grieveson, Jonathan Shaw, Alexandra Johns
 TRIDENT PARK - Civils: C&F Building Contractors Ltd / iManage Ltd - MEP: Panta - Finishes: Halmann Vella Ltd / Archi+ / AS Management - THE BREWHOUSE - Civils: AX Construction - MEP: Panta - Finishes: Joint Venture: Joinwell, J.Lautier Co. Ltd, APTC Ltd
 Architect / Interior Design / Masterplanning: ritchie*studio - Structural and Civil Engineer. Planning Consultant: TBA Periti - Cost Consultant: Equals Consulting (London) and Sphere Projects (Malta) - Environmental Engineer: Doug King Consulting - Lighting Consultant: Ulrike Brandi Licht - Landscape Consultant: Joseph Borg - Building Services and Fire Engineering Consultant: CASAinginiera - Transport Consultant: ERSLI Consultants Limited and AIS Environment - Acoustic Engineer: Gillieron Scott Acoustic Design - AV Consultant: Sarner International Ltd - Brand Design, Merchandise & Marketing: BRND WGN / DNA Studio / Logix Creative Ltd - Catering Consultant: Ingo Wessel - Heritage & Exhibition Design: The Exhibitions Team / RFK Architects Ltd - Health & Safety Consultant: Resolve Consulting Limited - Wayfinding Consultant: Urban UX - Interior Design Cisk Tap & The Grist: Openworkstudio and Forward Architects - Interior Design Farsons Brewery Experience: RFK Architects Ltd - Interior Design Kettles Café, The Chapels Gastrobrewpub & Farsons Brandstore: DAAA Haus - Interior Design Brewhouse Reception, Heritage Hall & Redler Room: DSTUDIO
 TRIDENT PARK Civils: Terracore Ltd ReCoop Andrew Vassallo MEP: Alberta Group Central Power Installations Ltd Melita Firetech Lexcorp International Limited ctPark The Catering Centre Finishes: Makaw Limited APTC Ltd Decorative Concrete Services Ltd E&L Enterprises Ltd Malcolm Aquilina Pillow Space Frame Ltd SAW Ltd Flock Image Company Ltd Project Technik Monotech The Resin and Membrane Centre Hardware Merchants Limited Oxford House Ltd Immagine Casa Vivendo Group AV Studioseven Strand Electronics Conference & Boardroom Furniture Luke Hughes FXB Ltd Casala Landscape IO Projects Light Fittings Castaldi ESS Lighting Elektra Lighting LED Linear GmbH Meyer Lighting Occhio GmbH RZB Lighting Vibia Lighting Lifts Schindler (Europe) Panta (Malta) Thermally Active Building Structure Uponor Apertures Cuschieri Group Styles Apertures Ltd Security and Cleaning Security Service Malta Ltd C.A.M.C. Security Ltd Kerber Security (Malta) Ltd JF Group Gym Equipment Technogym Malta THE BREWHOUSE Finishes: Joint Venture: Joinwell, J.Lautier Co. Ltd, APTC Ltd Ghezlan Trading SRl Alison Satariano CastConcrete Deco Manufacturing Delta Steel Ltd Evolve by RS Group Matter Make Ltd Neonglow Ltd Studio Moda Group Woodware Ltd AV Studioseven Furniture & Fixtures Restoration, Supply of Wooden Doors, WC Wood Installations Joinwell Ltd Landscape IO Projects Ltd Paradiso Gardens Lifts Schindler (Europe) Panta (Malta) Microbrewery Equipment Caspary GmbH & Co. KG Painting & Plastering APTC Ltd Restoration of Industrial Equipment Brian Cucciardi Anglu Muscat Joe Caruana Joe Mangion Clint Borg Window Apertures, Metalwork, Flooring, WC Areas J.Lautier Co. Ltd Clement Windows Group Ltd
 Joe Smith, Jean Claude Vancell, ritchie*studio


ritchie*studio is one of the world’s most thoughtful, original and influential contemporary collaborative and environmentally focused architectural practices, with a reputation for delivering designs that are consistently imaginatively conceived, technically and materially cutting-edge, and refined in detail and exemplars of integrated urbanism, architecture, engineering, and fabrication. We practice throughout Europe to realise major urban, architectural and engineering works.
We have received more than 100 national and international awards, including several for Innovation - Premio Internazionale Ischia di Architettura (PIDA) Innovation Prize for Neuroarchitecture, French Academie d’Architecture Grand Silver Medal for Innovation, the Iritecna Design Prize for Europe; the Commonwealth Association of Architects Award for the Advancement of Architecture, Eric Lyons Memorial Award for European Housing, shortlisted four times for the RIBA Stirling Prize and twice for EU Mies Prize.


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