St. Barbara’s Bastion Malta, Farrugia Investments Office, Maltese Building, Project, Design

St. Barbara’s Bastion, Malta

Farrugia Investments Building design by Architecture Project

17 Nov 2011

St. Barbara’s Bastion in Malta

Design: Architecture Project

The St. Barbara’s Bastion project won the Creative Re-Use category at the Inside Festival, WAF 2011.

St. Barbara’s Bastion Office Malta
picture © David Pisani, Metropolis

The brief for this project centered on three major elements. The first was the creation of an office space in an old building which would include all the qualities necessary for a contemporary working space; light, clarity, comfort and ease of access. The second was the creation of a high end, luxury residential space which would be located on the uppermost level of the building.

St. Barbara’s Bastion Farrugia Investments Office Malta
picture © David Pisani, Metropolis

The third issue was that of creating separate entrances to accommodate for the two functions of the building; one for the residential space and one for the office space. Planning regulations require that access to premises with different uses is via separate entrances, and therefore the refurbishment of the building needed to address this issue. This logistical requirement, combined with the client’s wish for an iconic design solution, provided the architects with the ideal basis for experimentation and research with form and space.

Farrugia Investments Office:
St. Barbara’s Bastion St. Barbara’s Bastion Malta
pictures © David Pisani, Metropolis

The different uses envisaged in the programme were to be accommodated in different areas of the property as follows: the ground floor would be a common reception space, creating a transition between the street and the special environment on the interior. The first floor is taken up by rentable offices. Here, to maximize on space, a mezzanine level was introduced.

The second floor is taken up by the clients’ offices, whilst the third is the penthouse floor- the residential section of the project which is also rented out.

The location of the property is so prestigious that it immediately lends a feeling of luxury to the project. The outstanding views of the Grand Harbour, provide the interiors for the penthouse suite and the offices qualities that automatically elevate the property to the highest niche on the market.

As a result, materiality and tone were designed to provide a specific feeling for each and every one of the rooms in the building, with the view as the principal element of the composition.

Farrugia Investments Building design by Architecture Project
picture © David Pisani, Metropolis

The fact that the client understood the added value inherent in the creation of a bold formal statement with the design of the staircase was an enormous asset to the design process. The ‘double-helix’ style structure is conceived as one sculptural mass combining two separate winding staircases which lead to both office and residential levels independently.

The design is a re-interpretation of the helical structure, yet its dark, almost eerie atmospheric quality is the real unique quality of this architectural feature. The lighting in the space is minimal and unobtrusive yet its dimness is quite essential for the success of the design.

It merely guides the visitor through the space rather than actually filling the area with light. Moreover, the source of light is hidden so that the resulting glow creates a sensation of walking through a giant tree bark, or cavernous passageway, where natural light has all but been cut-out.

St Barbara’s Bastion – Alberto Miceli Farrugia:
Farrugia Investments office building St Barbaras Bastion Malta St Barbaras Bastion Malta
photos : Architecture Project

St. Barbara’s Bastion Malta – Building Information

Architect: Architecture Project (AP)
Client: private
Location: Malta
Project Dates: 2011

St. Barbara’s Bastion Malta images / information from Architecture Project

Architecture Project

Location: Malta, Southern Europe

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