Home in Water 2006

The client, a well-known international photographer in love with the sea and all which lies above and underneath it, bought a typical terraced house in the centre of Gharghur, an inland village.

Measuring 6m wide by 27m in length, it was a typical row-house with a traditional, masonry façade and small rooms. Acknowledging the tight space available, the young couple sought a two-bedroom modern house with large open spaces for their 2 year old daughter and their unborn baby, to play and grow in.

 

 

 

 

Briffa suggested the entire house to be gutted, and while retaining the façade, the bedrooms be pushed downstairs, freeing the living spaces above to enjoy the full volume of the previous structure. The resulting scheme would  incorporate 3 bedrooms, a large terrace, a north-facing living area, a mezzanine lounge area, two courtyards, a garage and a large study and the upper floor.

A 12m, narrow lap-pool gently sliding into the main living space & sharing its walls with the bedrooms below would keep the lower floor cool in summer & warm in winter, utilising the principle of latent heat.

The couple struggled, at first, with reversing the culturally accepted notion of living downstairs and sleeping upstairs, but soon realised its potential and sensibility and took the leap of faith.

The family moved in when the newborn baby was born in July 2006. The air conditioning points in the lower level were provided but the actual units never installed. The spaces performed particularly well as a result of passive cooling; the long pool acting as a heat sink which retains the heat in winter and cools the structure in summer.

Images by Kurt Arrigo.

HOME IN WATER 2006

The client, a well-known international photographer in love with the sea and all which lies above and underneath it, bought a typical terraced house in the center of Gharghur, an inland village.

Measuring 6m wide by 27m in length, it was a typical row-house with a traditional, masonry façade and small rooms. Acknowledging the tight space available, the young couple sought a two-bedroom modern house with large open spaces for their 2 year old daughter and their unborn baby, to play and grow in.

Briffa suggested the entire house to be gutted, and while retaining the façade, the bedrooms be pushed downstairs, freeing the living spaces above to enjoy the full volume of the previous structure. The resulting scheme would incorporate 3 bedrooms, a large terrace, a north-facing living area, a mezzanine lounge area, two courtyards, a garage and a large study and the upper floor.

A 12m, narrow lap-pool gently sliding into the main living space & sharing its walls with the bedrooms below would keep the lower floor cool in summer & warm in winter, utilizing the principle of latent heat.

The couple struggled, at first, with reversing the culturally accepted notion of living downstairs and sleeping upstairs, but soon realized its potential and sensibility and took the leap of faith.

The family moved in when the newborn baby was born in July 2006. The air conditioning points in the lower level were provided but the actual units never installed. The spaces performed particularly well as a result of passive cooling; the long pool acting as a heat sink which retains the heat in winter and cools the structure in summer.

PROJECT TEAM: Chris Briffa, Simon Fenech, Aldo Caruana.

Images by Kurt Arrigo.