Program: Apartment Block
Location: Balzan, MALTA
Status: Completed, 2018
Structural Design: Perit Ivan Muscat
Photography: Alex Attard, Julian Vassallo
Text: Ann Dingli
Replacing a dilapidated single-storey dwelling sited between two of Malta’s most beloved villages, Threeplusone takes cues from its surrounding context whilst addressing contemporary living needs, prioritising light, space and functionality.
The building responds stylistically to its inherited street-scape, echoing the elegance of massing, volume and proportion of a Modernist corner house that sits across the road from its site. Large, sliding apertures and deeply recessed terraces wrap the spartan facade at upper levels, whilst its silicato finish both supports thermal efficiency and celebrates bright Mediterranean light – recalling the tradition of bleach- white, coastal architecture. The building’s distinct curved form works cohesively with the articulation of the street, bending subtly along its corner site. Its projecting terraces create valuable shading to lower levels and maximise the size of the living spaces inside. At street level, the building’s perimeter is lined with trees, lending privacy to the office space tucked within the semi-basement level below.
The spacious terraces allow light to cascade into the south-facing living areas at the front of the building. Inside, the building works both to maximise usable space and achieve continuity between indoor and outdoor areas. Living areas are pulled towards the terraces, whilst bedrooms and utility rooms fan out toward a rear, corner courtyard, drawing in natural light and facilitating ventilation.