The Brewhouse and Trident Park Malta ritchie*studio
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Brewhouse and Trident Park open in Malta

An art deco brewery transformed into a creative, sustainable workplace

ritchie*studio

The Brewhouse and Trident Park Malta ritchie*studio
By Redazione The Plan -
Castaldi Lighting has participated in the project

The Brewhouse and Trident Park is a mixed-use commercial and heritage retrofit project that reimagines the listed Simonds Farsons Cisk brewery properties in Mriehel, Malta. The aim was to combine heritage and modernity to create an environment where commerce, culture and industrial history could coexist harmoniously.

The Brewhouse has reopened after a long and complex transformation that has breathed new life into the 7000 m2 art deco building, transforming it into an interactive, versatile, and sustainable destination of experiences and workplaces.

New skylights and geometrically shaped openings incorporated into the existing structure have transformed the interiors into a series of interconnected spaces flooded with natural light.

Areas that were previously used for fermentation have been converted into coworking spaces, while storage areas are now occupied by microbreweries, exhibition halls, meeting rooms, and cafés, where anyone can enjoy the panoramic views across the whole island.

 

The landscaped courtyards of Trident Park

The Brewhouse & Trident Park, Malta. The apple, gage, and avocado garden looking north - ritchie*studio ©Joe Smith, courtesy ritchie*studio


Beyond the brewery’s 200 m long art deco arcade, there are the six landscaped courtyards of Trident Park. These separate seven new mixed-use buildings, which occupy an area of some 15,000 m2. A large part of the site has been used for gardens, with the buildings only taking up 43% of the area.

Both the courtyards and gardens feature local plants, which, are designed around orchard fruit of varying colours, providing a haven for the senses. The design of the outdoor areas includes covered walkways that run along the southern and northern sides of the site, providing access to all levels of the complex.

 

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Sustainable architecture that dialogues with the past

The Brewhouse & Trident Park, Malta. The renewed Brewhouse with Trident statue in the foreground - ritchie*studio ©Ian Ritchie, courtesy ritchie*studio
 

The design of the Brewhouse and Trident Park embodies the wisdom built into this centuries-old place, while integrating into it the contemporary themes of efficiency and energy saving through design strategies such as natural ventilation and lighting, rainwater collection, and solar energy. The project, which is intended to achieve BREEAM Excellent certification, has a 55% lower carbon footprint than standard buildings in Malta, a figure that was achieved in part by the use of locally sourced materials and major reduction in operational carbon emissions​​​​​​​.

The aim of creating workspaces that don’t require air conditioning in Malta’s hot climate was achieved through the orientation of the windows, which face east/west to ensure maximum natural ventilation. In addition, each building partially shades the next, with vertical sunshading completing the effect, while also creating evocative interplays of light and shade.

The centralized thermally active building system is innovative, involving the use of water at 61–63°F (16–17°C) to cool the floor slabs at night, thus reducing energy needs during the day. The slabs also act as ceilings and have been left without light fittings. Instead, Levita wall and floor lamps have been used. Designed specifically for the project by Ian Ritchie and Ulrike Brandi, and manufactured by Castaldi Lighting, the lamps fill the workspaces with indirect light, creating a relaxing, comfortable atmosphere.

 

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Flexible, shared workspaces

The Brewhouse & Trident Park, Malta. The Brewhouse workspace ready for occupation - ritchie*studio ©Ian Ritchie, courtesy ritchie*studio


Architecture is about feelings: it stimulates the senses and goes beyond mere aesthetics. In the Mediterranean climate, workspaces not only need to be functional but must also offer a harmonious blend of indoor and outdoor elements to evoke a sense of well-being and joy. All of the rooms in this project have been designed to adapt to the changing needs of their occupants and the work they perform. For this reason, they are ideal both for startups and more structured companies with a larger workforce.

The floorplan ensures flexibility, with the areas available for rental ranging from whole floors  to 200 m2 units. Each level has been designed to be adaptable to different future uses as homes, commercial accommodation, or hybrid spaces, halfway between home and work. And this herein lies the importance of this project as an example of a refurbished industrial building that can satisfy both present and future needs.

The Brewhouse & Trident Park, Malta. Co-working spaces making use of the transformed fermentation vats - ritchie*studio ©Joe Smith, courtesy ritchie*studio


"Architecture is experienced through our senses, with emotional responses often informing our experience. The architect’s means of expression creates spaces of silence, sound, light and shadow that cater to a variety of human behaviours and interactions, allowing us to contemplate, discuss, work, dream and even achieve Zen moments. When we get it right as designers, the people experiencing the architecture feel a sense of wellbeing. Designing an environment for work, which becomes a ‘second home’ for the people in it, makes the architecture’s value for the users, and the architect’s satisfaction, even greater".
Ian Ritchie, Director, ritchie*studio

 

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Credits

Location: Mriehel, Malta
Completion: June 2023
Gross Internal Floor Area: Trident Park – 15,000 m2 / The Brewhouse – 7,000 m2
Site Area: 20,000 m2
Client: Simonds Farsons Cisk PLC and Trident Park Ltd (subsidiary of Trident Estates PLC)
Architect, Interior Design, Masterplanning: ritchie*studio

Consultants
Structures, Civil and Planning: TBA Periti
Environment: Doug King Consulting
Lighting: Ulrike Brandi Licht
Landscape: Joseph Borg
Acoustics: Gillieron Scott Acoustic Design
AV Consulting: Sarner International Ltd
Costs: Equals Consulting (London) and Sphere Projects (Malta)
Health & Safety: Resolve Consulting Limited
Wayfinding: Urban UX
Building Services and Fire Engineering: CASAinginiera

Suppliers
Lighting: Castaldi Lighting

Photography by Joe Smith, Ian Ritchie and Jean Claude Vancell, courtesy of ritchie*studio

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