No. 92

VALLETTA, MALTA

Design - Elisa Grech, Simon Grech

Photography - Alex Attard

Writeup - Holly Knowles

 

Behind an imposing double-height front door, a space with a modest footprint contains a sculpture for living. Through rigorous geometric arrangement, a kitchen, a living area and an elevated bedroom are created beneath an impressive vaulted ceiling.

In this 16 square metre property, a series of black hollow steel sections make up a cube with repeating rectangular volumes. Constructed on site, contrasting textural elements were incorporated into the matrix. Panels of birch plywood sandwiched either side of steel plates, and likewise, panels of mirror, bring notes of warmth and a play of light. Throughout the residence, different planes and materials in the form of restored traditional apertures, plastered white walls, contemporary blonde wood, mirror, and smooth marble offer shifting perspectives.

A fully equipped kitchen with extra deep Carrara marble counter-tops occupies one half of the steel structure. The cube frame offers storage nooks above the workspace, and behind this, a custom breakfast bar is situated below a window to enjoy the morning sunshine. On the other side, a sitting area demarcated by a splash of green upholstery provides a space for relaxation, and open shelving for decorative objects provides a link between the living and kitchen spaces.

To the rear left of the dwelling, a full-length mirror slides to reveal a toilet and washbasin, and to the rear right, a shower room in contemporary slate colours balances the floor plan. The staircase up to the sleeping quarters is located at the back of the dwelling. Fabricated in black bent steel sheeting to blend with the frame of the cube, its twists echo the turns of a traditional Maltese stone garigor. Sweeping upward to a king-size bed, this sleeping platform on top of the living and kitchen areas allows an uninterrupted view of the stars at night through the fanlight window.

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