edward john zammit
architecture portfolio and other works
Who am I? -
(c. 1997) Enrolled in B.Sc. Built Environment Studies at University of Malta, and having spent a semester at the Università degli Studi di Roma “Tor Vergata”, I mainly practice in architectural design, visual documentation, and photography. Throughout my studies I have become increasingly interested in the social aspects of architecture, and in its potential of governing rituals of life through built space, both on a domestic and urban scale. My later work, photographs and paintings aim to focus on the absurd details within our everyday spatial fabric which echo this invisible programme.
Diploma in Design Foundation Studies at the University of Malta Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Malta Exchange Program at Universita’ degli studi di Roma Tor Vergata (Rome, Italy)
Summer internship at iAS (Innovative Architectural Structures) St. Julians, Malta  Summer Internship at Archi+ Studio in Lija, Malta  Internship at Chris Briffa Architects in Valletta, Malta
Experienced user of Windows and Macintosh Experienced user of Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and inDesign Experienced user of ArchiCAD software Competent user of Rhino3D, Grasshopper, SketchUp Experienced in modelmaking, sketching, painting, and photography.
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Academic Projects A reimagining of Piazza Margarita House for an archaeologist Underground Spa A suspended pavilion A tangible flow (Grasshopper exercise)
Photographic works and Illustrations
ion vat ele a
elevation a scale 1:500
A reimagining of piazza Margarita The proposed site was a small piazza located in the heart of Cospicua, a village in Southern Malta, with a rich history stretching back to 16th century. Despite the cultural background of its surroundings, the piazza felt run down, neglected and was mostly unused by the residents who had plenty of other options for relaxation and leisure.
frastructure is to promote the birth of a new society existing separately from the rest of Bormla’s population, in turn allowing for the growth of a new culture within the piazza’s boundaries. In this sense, the piazza itself becomes a tabula rasa, making space for what is to come.
The concept deals with using this already present isolation to the space’s advantage, creating a clear divide between the city and the space within it. Through dense vegetation and limiting entry points, a sort of “biome” is imagined at the heart of Bormla: a secluded wooden area within the city. A central cafeteria (detailed on page 5) serves as the primary socialising space, with separate tea-houses (detailed on page 7) spread across the wooded area, intended for more intimate discussion. This new in-
Joists of horizontal inclination (timber)
Joists of different inclination than (i), connected through wood joinery
Bearer running along length of building, taking the load of the roof and joists, connected through wood joinery
Outer, insulated timber walls
Insulated timber roof with vapour retarder.
Double glazed glass panes
Load bearing corton steel skeleton structure
Self-service bar area and beneath-counter storage and refrigerator. Self service also available from the outside through window. Group area with tables aimed for multiple customers. Secluded area looking out at the piazza through a glass pane. Aimed for lone customers, doubling as a suitable work/ study area
Lounge area and main entrance, surrounded with detailed folding doors. Separate toilet area.
i ii iii iv
Free rotating rod attached to rotary wheels to allow free rotation of folding members
Folding members placed along rotary axis of the doors, secured in place with screws, allowing 180 degree limited rotation
Opaque perspex to allow moderate light diffusion, and privacy
Timber frame securing perspex
House for an archaeologist Upon getting to know the family that I was designing for, what immediately stood out was their love for their current house. Located in the countryside, on the outskirts of an old village, it was a stark contrast to where the newly designed house was to be located in: an industrialised area under the threat of mass modernisation. Putting the family in an entirely new environment was a clear issue: the new house was meant to make up for what the space around it lacked. The house was designed as an introverted fabric, wrapping around itself and creating a sense of a “new neighbourhood“ within its limits. The first floor was split into two seperate wings (one for the two children, the other for the parents), which were seperated by a courtyard with direct access to the facade.
out the design, which not only made the open spaces structurally possible, but also echoed the family’s love for the antique, and the mother’s profession as an archaeologist. This was also reflected in other playful elements within the house, such as secret doorways and hidden slits in the walls overlooking the central courtyard, which allowed for a sense of supervision and security while also maintaining privacy.
The architectural “arch“ was used as a main functional and aesthetic element through-
Childrens’ living space
Parents’ living space
First floor plan
Ground floor plan
1 2 3 4 5
Dessicant & seal
Free rotating rod
(above) The library was imagined as a shared space between the motherâ€™s office and the access stairway to the courtyard, allowing for privacy on both sides, while also maintaining an open structure.
(above) The childrenâ€™s rooms were designed with future privacy needs in mind. What was initially one large main space can be divided in two, by extending a sliding wall from both sides, creating two seperate living spaces. -14-
Underground spa Hidden in the sidestreets of Valletta, is a dillapitated facade, which leads to a basement under the cityâ€™s fabric. The proposal dealt with revitalising the space as a compact, subterranean spa for private use, while keeping to the very limited area provided. The most important aspect of the design was arguably the descent: the process of getting from ground level down into the more intimate relaxation space below. Throughout the design process, the descent was seen as a ritual to be experienced alone, without the influence of others. The stairway was designed as an isolated space, which slowly unveiled the spa below, by introducing subtle elements as one descends: water trickles from behind the handrails, eventually making its way to a network of water-passages hanging from the ceiling... light seeps from underneath the steps... light transitions from natural to artificial the further down you go.
(a) (b) (c)
Once the clients arrive below, they are greeted with an area of communal showers, which encourages communication after the isolated descent. The rest of the spa follows a somewhat circuit-like layout, in which rooms lead into each other seamlessly to provide flow. The indoor pool, which also serves as the main source of artificial light, links the different rooms together by running along the entire length of the space.
(Left) Early concept sketches of: Descent Perspective in pool facing inside Cantilevered platform leading to sauna
The staircase was designed by keeping in mind the possibility of two clients climbing opposite each other. Indentations within the steps allow for overlap, should it occur.
The main source of light within the entire spa comes mostly from the light fittings at the bottom of the pool. This allows for soft, refracted light within the space.
LEGEND 1 2 3 4
Communal shower area Pool Sauna Resting area with massaging jets
The entrance to the spa was a vital detail in maintaining a controlled programme of people flow. Through understanding the intended circulation within the space, a multifunctional doorway was designed to create the required effect. The doorway was imagined as a binary â€œgateâ€œ which would block passage when used, and allow circulation when it is vacant. It was designed to be passively run by the clients using the spa, and operable by a single person at a time. The compact space has to be accessed in order to enter the spa, and serves mainly as a changing room which is left open when unoccupied. When it is in use, it is closed from the inside by the user, by sliding the main door to the side. This mechanically pulls a sliding vertical element with it, stretching an opaque curtain over the entrance, thus closing it from the other side as well, and blocking further access. Once the user has changed, and reopens the doorway, the curtain to the side of the entrance is also pushed back, re-allowing flow on both sides.
The use of soft, opaque material allows the users to see if the space is in use, while also allowing an easily penetratable (and replaceable) surface in case of emergency.
(Right) A fully functional 1:5 scale model of the structure was built to demonstrate its mechanically moving elements.
(Right) Artistic impressions (Relate views to viewcones from isometric figure)
view a the descent
view b the descent
view c the descent
A suspended pavilion The proposed location lies in an elevated piazza on the outskirts of Valletta, Maltaâ€™s capital. At its core, the pavilion was a reaction to the abundance of social spaces born from the commercialisation of the city, and aimed on focusing on the isolation of individuals, rather than the collection of masses. The form aimed at physically pushing itself as far away from the city as possible, and stretching itself past the edge of the piazza, overlooking the grand harbour on the other side. The cantilevered area consisted of a number of pods, each seperate from the other, ergonomicaly designed for particular seating positions and functions.
Left Early concept sketches of: Formfinding Perspective upon entrance, overlooking views of the grand harbour -24-
111Â° plan scale 1:100
meditation pod capacity: 1 the smallest and most elevated pod, accessed by the ladder
chair pod capacity: 2 capacity: 2 a partially suspended chair, with access to a view at the side.
bench pod capacity: 2 the most spacious pod, a space with a bench facing out at the view.
inclined pod capacity: 2 capacity: 2 an entirely suspended pod, accessed by the ladder. Its ergonomically inclined walls allow for one to lay inside the pod and relax.
Compression member. Made of concrete because of its performance when in compression. Lined at the joint position of the trusses.
Hollowed steam beams. Truss system to keep structure rigid.
Steel bolt screws fastening beams with horizontal members (5), the hatched section of figure 1
A horizontal member, with cross section as seen above in figure 1. Keeps the trusses in a fastened position.
Horizontal beams across lower corners of the structure, to provide a strong base for standing on.
figure 1 -29-
figure 2: for the angled sides, the truss system is replaced by a single beam held by compression members
A grid was generated to fit within the required space, and poles were created, with each being 90cm apart. Parameters were then to be applied to this grid, creating a hierarchy of thickness and length.
Height: A mathematical relationship was established between the poles, resulting in a gradual decrease in height, from a chosen pole (the one marked)
Thickness: Likewise, the parameter of a changing thickness was programmed onto another point, near the entry point. The entrance consists of low, wide seating spaces, which gradually get thinner and higher as one walks further into the installation The fragmented nature of the installation ensures that views from, and to the space are not obstructed.
Main flow occurs only through here, which makes for a very controllable space.
tallest unit 4m
Modules can be assembled onto the thinner concrete structures, creating roofing, and more private seating for isolated use
The structures are constructed of reinforced concrete, integrated into the present floor.
â€œA tangible flowâ€? (Grasshopper Exercise) One semester focused on proposing an installation for the local university campus, which makes use of parametric design, through using Grasshopper. My project dealt with a particular dead space on the perimeter of the university which has no particular use, or context. This gave a lot of freedom over the design, and I eventually settled on the idea of revitalising the space by giving it a use as a multilayered seating space. In the early stages, I first started with the idea of a grid system with different uses within its structure. I then started experimenting with different parameters, and giving this grid new dimensions, such as height and thickness. Through this, I decided to give these dimensions a practical purpose.
Two parameters were created, referring separately to a particular point on the grid.The value of the parameters was determined by the distance between this point, and the grid members. For example: in the case of height, the longest member is the chosen coordinate. The further one gets from this coordinate, the shorter the member will become. The same applies to thickness. The thicker members serve the purpose of fairly open, public seating spaces, while the longer members serve as structural columns propping up specifically designed modules, leading to a more private, isolated set of seating spaces, that can be accustomed accordingly according to the needed design (These modules were created separately in Rhino). The spaces in between the grid serve as clear passageways through which the students can pass.
Photographic Works and Illustrations -
Studying architecture has also led to an interest in understanding places through the medium of photography. Throughout these past couple of years, I have been developing a personal project with the aim of documenting lesser known spaces of significant architectural value by capuring them on film. It is my belief that through the documentation of such buidings, we can become increasingly more sensitive to the subtle poetics of space. The full, ongoing project, as well as an archive of a selection of other photographic material and a wider range of illustrations can be found on my personal website at: www.edwardzammit.com
Image from ‘Villa Carmel’ Documentation of an abandoned Modernist Villa in B’Kara, Malta
Images from â€˜Way of The Four Gatesâ€˜ documentation of a postmodern Seminarium located on the outskirts of Krakow, Poland
Images from ‘Spaces that don’t exist‘ (2018) Oil on canvas
Architecture and other works