Hanging Home is a project completed by Chris Briffa Architects in 2011, and is situated in Naxxar, Malta.
The semi-detached family members property is decorated in an understated, modern day, comfy manner.
Hanging Property by Chris Briffa Architects:
“A couple of years ago, Richard England’s celebrated ‘Villa la Maltija’ and its surrounding gardens in San Pawl tat-Targa (Malta) had been demolished to make way for semi-detached villas. Permission was granted for the developers to divide the estate into parcels of land with an average area of 250 square metres (2690 square feet) each.
The next 6 years saw a busy construction landscape of the twenty or so structures – every single by a distinct owner employing a distinct architect – all developed and built at fairly much the same time but all very different from each and every other. A sort of microcosm of regional middle-class architectural tastes, the neighbourhood varies in style from conventional to modern to nondescript. 1 of these lots was entrusted to Chris Briffa Architects, who developed and lately completed this sculptural white cube with seemingly quite handful of apertures, hanging over a narrow but gripping side-garden.
The consumers – a loved ones of 3 – necessary to capitalize on their modest 250 square metres (2690 square feet) of land. Even though zoning regulations allowed only 40% internet site coverage, they presented the architect with a really demanding short: an open strategy living region, a separate dining room, two large bedrooms with bathrooms, an independent home-office, a study, a 3-automobile garage, a pool, as considerably garden as feasible and an region to take pleasure in their daughter’s piano playing.
After quite a few hours of design organizing and meetings, Briffa proposed cantilevering virtually half of the home more than the pool location, in order to liberate far more space in the garden, while nonetheless falling within planning regulations. A scale model illustrated the proposal’s use of space, with a skillful juxtaposition of exterior and interior spaces, and the customers agreed to the style. The layout not only satisfied their brief, but also provided a generous outdoors location compared with the modest side-terraces of similar surrounding properties. The clients moved in at the finish of 2011, following a saga of permit delays, construction hiccups and bespoke interior finishing.
From the street, a steel staircase bridges more than the underlying front garden and invites us beneath the sheltering white mass. High louvered doors, equivalent to classic Maltese ‘persjani’, lead to the interior. Primarily two opposing openings and a staircase, the entry hall is compact but motivating: an unassuming composition of horizontal lines of glass, steel, timber and marble. A single opening is a doorway into the living location, while the other a narrow window to the outside catching a glimpse of water from the pool beneath. The hall extends upwards onto a light steel staircase, sandwiched amongst an 8-metre-higher (26-foot-higher) space naturally lit from above.
The extended living region – a double-height volume attached to a low 1 – accommodates the piano salon (with enhanced acoustics thanks to its high ceiling), the sitting room, concealed stairs to the garage and the sunny kitchen/breakfast region. The dining area and guest WC are every single hidden behind a composition of oak doors and storage cabinets, which also hides the vertical services and cooling program.
The dining room extends into the garden on a cantilevered concrete slab enclosed by 3 glass walls hovering above the deep end of the pool surrounded by south-facing olive trees. This perimeter garden – with its twelve-metre (39-foot) long pool, olive trees and outside eating location – enjoys privacy from the street thanks to an elevated, semi-basement room which homes the home office.
Perhaps the most fascinating (and the architect’s favourite) internal space, this peculiar property-office is partly underground, sharing a wall with the pool while searching up to the olive trees and the cantilevered dining slab. Water reflections from the pool dance on its inclined ceiling in the early summer time months. The inspiring home headquarters enjoys a separate access from the street and further light and ventilation from the front yard of the house.
Upstairs, the primary bedroom suite is totally cantilevered over the complete length of the residence. A progression of private privacy levels, it consists of a linear arrangement of terrace, sitting location, stroll-in wardrobe, bathroom and bedroom with a low level window strictly controlling privacy and reflected natural light.
With a low-energy, water-primarily based below-floor heating technique keeping the property warm in winter, the architects’ main concern was to keep the developing cool in the summer months. Every single space enjoys cross-ventilation from opposing windows, and the south-facing dining region becomes a terrace when the big doors are opened. The major ‘lung’ of the house – the space above the main staircase – acts as a cooling tower in summer time, channeling the heat up from the primary locations while scooping the cool, prevailing summer time breezes from the uppermost clearstory windows.
The hanging residence – pure and weightless from the outdoors, gradually revealing its balmy spaces as a single explores the interior – is the outcome of a wholesome client-architect relationship. ‘We had been allowed to explore a selection of architectural solutions’, says Briffa ‘…all the way to the final detail. We do our greatest to aid consumers visualise our ambitions within their budget, but it usually takes a leap of faith …’”
- 1st Level
- Second Level
- Third Level
- 4th Level
Photographs by: David Pisani