Program: Studio Apartment Conversion
Location: Valletta, Malta
Status: Completed 2017
Project Management: Synthesis Projects
Photography: Julian Vassallo
Text: Ann Dingli
The design for No. 51 saw the re-working of an existing Valletta apartment into an intimate and highly- functional space for modern living. The project required a departure from traditional home layouts, rejecting the rigid confines of conventional organisation and separation of bedroom, living and kitchen spaces. Instead, functional boundaries are blurred, replaced by a shift towards a more fluid layout.
A volley of rooms results. A series of connecting spaces are linked through the entire length of the apartment, from the main entrance along a clearly delineated axis to a culminating a stone spiral staircase that leads up towards a roof terrace. These linked spaces are joined together by stepped timber platforms that elevate users from the original floor level of the main entrance, to the raised level at the opposite end of the apartment.
Each of the living spaces is revealed as users walk through successive and fluid zones. Areas for eating, lounging, preparing food, storing belongings, sleeping, bathing and working blend together in flowing sequence, without any hard boundaries. Light meanwhile penetrates from two courtyards, softening the interiors. Efficient use of space is embedded throughout the apartment in the form of accessible, concealable storage. An exercise in conjuring the illusion of space, No. 51 subverts the confines of the traditional to offer new levels of both utility and comfort.