OLD THEATRE TOWNHOUSE
Program: Retrofit Home
Location: Valletta, Malta
Status: Completed 2022
Photography: Ramon Portelli
Text: Ann Dingli
The design for a townhouse on Old Theatre Street, Valletta centres on creating chromatically distinct levels of living that stretch along the depth of the home. Light cascades in from the flanking streets at the end of each floor, illuminating the home’s extremities. At the belly of the plan, an original stone staircase envelopes a small passenger lift, its frame contoured by a trunk of permeable vertical slats.
The house is entered through a darkened hallway, building sensory transition from out to indoors. At ground, an oversized divider closes or expands into dedicated garage space, transforming the entrance level in one rotary sweep. Colour suggests function on the second floor – dedicated to children’s bedrooms and play area. Pink shades appear in the speckled terrazzo bathroom and wardrobe cabinetry, whilst on the third floor, neutral and green tones signify the arrival up to the main bedroom level. The fourth is home to a bright kitchen and large living-dining space, whose orientation diverges from the otherwise uninterrupted axial layout. Throughout, textural contrast occurs between original details and designed interventions. Floor tiles have been preserved where possible, lifted and re-laid to align with colour stories.
A stone wrapped swimming pool sits on the uppermost floor, shaded with horizontal beams and planting. A spartan deck contrasts the grandeur of the nearby dome, its reflection mingling with the shadows from the day’s shifting light.