Casa Briffa 2016

Chris Briffa’s second, and current, home is housed in eight diverse rooms spread over four floors with a sizeable south-facing roof terrace, each storey seemingly having an identity of its own.

The masonry ground floor is the oldest part of the house: a balmy guest suite with restored arches and concrete-reinforced walls. The kids’ rooms on the first floor are warm and colourful, particularly the retro-inspired tiny bathroom, which plays with recovered 70s tiles under a reflecting ceiling. The largest room on second floor is the family room and the space where the family spends most of their time: an informal arrangement of kitchen workbench and pantry cupboards facing the dining and sitting areas, with a Mondrianesque library in the background.

 

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The lack of space in the master bedroom stirred the idea of a bridge over the courtyard to create a connection to the bathroom. The bright, glass box houses a steel-marble vanity, and feels much like an Asian-inspired outdoor space in between sleeping and bathing areas. The clear-glass floor is another topic of domestic controversy, and visually connects the public courtyard below with the most private space of the house. An edge between comfort zone and augmented acrophobia – it is one of the architect’s most favoured lazy-corners of the house, pun intended.

The upper, newly built floors face the sunny terrace, and were constructed from recycled masonry removed from the lower floors during renovation works. These Nordic-inspired, sunny spaces house a bath, a hidden laundry room and my art studio on the top floor whose ceiling features a series of curvilinear shapes playing with the proportions of the room: the curved timber forming the grooves painstakingly fixed onto the formwork by the architect and his father on a windy February morning.

In retrospect, what Briffa finds exceedingly fascinating is that the more memorable and intimate experiences happen within the more experimental of spaces. Whether it’s the mirrored reflection of his son’s bathroom’s ceiling, or the awkward greetings through the main bathroom floor, or, indeed, the multi-functional roof spaces which carefully mix the leisure spaces with the concealed building services underneath the roof-top whirlpool.

 

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Casa Briffa 2016

Chris Briffa’s second, and current, home is housed in eight diverse rooms spread over four floors with a sizeable south-facing roof terrace, each storey seemingly has an identity of its own.

The masonry ground floor is the oldest part of the house: a balmy guest suite with restored arches and concrete-reinforced walls. The kids’ rooms on the first floor are warm and colourful, particularly the retro-inspired tiny bathroom, which plays with recovered 70s tiles under a reflecting ceiling. The largest room on second floor is the family room and the space where the family spends most of their time: an informal arrangement of kitchen workbench and pantry cupboards facing the dining and sitting areas, with a Mondrianesque library in the background.

IMG_1139 IMG_1161 01

The lack of space in the master bedroom stirred the idea of a bridge over the courtyard to create a connection to the bathroom. The bright, glass box houses a steel-marble vanity, and feels much like an Asian-inspired outdoor space in between sleeping and bathing areas. The clear-glass floor is another topic of domestic controversy, and visually connects the public courtyard below with the most private space of the house. An edge between comfort zone and augmented acrophobia – it is one of the architect’s most favoured lazy-corners of the house, pun intended.

The upper, newly built floors face the sunny terrace, and were constructed from recycled masonry removed from the lower floors during renovation works. These Nordic-inspired, sunny spaces house a bath, a hidden laundry room and my art studio on the top floor whose ceiling features a series of curvilinear shapes playing with the proportions of the room: the curved timber forming the grooves painstakingly fixed onto the formwork by the architect and his father on a windy February morning.

In retrospect, what Briffa finds exceedingly fascinating is that the more memorable and intimate experiences happen within the more experimental of spaces. Whether it’s the mirrored reflection of his son’s bathroom’s ceiling, or the awkward greetings through the main bathroom floor, or, indeed, the multi-functional roof spaces which carefully mix the leisure spaces with the concealed building services underneath the roof-top whirlpool.

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