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Valley Road, Birkirkara 2149 2149

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the influencers






CONTENTS 013 015 018 024

NEWS AND FEATURES Readers letters and competition The Edit Meet the Creatives The Influencers

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HOMES Rising Star Follow the Curve Creative Thinking The Art of Story-telling

From the wellestablished to rising stars, these are the men and women shaping our architecture today...

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KITCHEN & DINING SPECIAL Introduction Kitchen & Dining News What’s Trending Cool Looks - Kitchen inspiration Especially for you



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LIFESTYLE + Showpiece Raising the bar In Season The Well-Travelled Architect Essential Suppliers Address book Insta-eye candy - Malta Doors 009

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This Issue. Who are the architects that have shaped and are now shaping how Malta looks today and in the future? In this the Architectural issue we have gathered together those architects who, in our opinion, have had and continue to have the most impact on local architecture today. It wasn’t easy finding a window in their busy diaries to get them all in the one place at the same time, but it was worth the effort and I hope you enjoy not just the portrait of our architectural times, but also reading about those featured in it. As you expect from the Architectural issue, all the houses featured have a strong architectural story to tell but in a different way, together showcasing the breadth of vision that the profession enjoys. As well as architectural splendour, this issue also features a Kitchen & Dining Special to inspire you when you are deciding on the look and functionality of your new space. And we’ve also introduced a new travel feature which is a guide to a country through the eyes of an architect. I hope you enjoy this and all of the others stories in this, the first issue of HOMEWORKS for 2018 - our 15th anniversary.


HOMEWORKS is published by Writeon Limited. and is a registered trademark of Writeon Limited. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission from the Publisher is prohibited. All rights reserved. Dates, information and prices quoted are believed to be correct at time of going to press but are subject to change and no responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions. Neither the editor no publisher accept responsibility for any material submitted, whether photographic or otherwise. While we endeavour to ensure that firms and organisations mentioned are reputable, the editor can give no guarantee that they will fulfil their obligations under all circumstances. © 2018



SALES & MARKETING ROBIN MILLS +356 2133 9999 +356 9933 2224 PRE-PRESS & PRINTING PRINT IT POSTAL ADDRESS / E-MAIL WriteOn Ltd. 89 Tigné Street, Level 2, SLM3170, Malta

GET IN TOUCH HOMEWORKS is distributed to most outlets that carry Sunday newspapers. We’d love to hear your opinions - what you love, what you love less, and what you’d like to see more of! Email us on 011

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HOMEWORKS Feedback, Writeon Ltd., 89 Tigné Street, Level 2, Sliema, SLM 3170, Malta or email: ISSUE 87

WINNER ANDREW MALLIA IS THE WINNER OF THE HOMEWORKS BOOK - A COLLECTION OF CONTEMPORARY MALTESE INTERIORS AND ARCHITECTURE, WITH OVER 300 PAGES OF VIBRANT AND STUNNING PHOTOGRAPHY, WORTH €40. ANDREW WROTE: ‘ We look forward to every issue of Homeworks as it gives us a lot of brilliant ideas for renovating our townhouse, in a local context. It would be nice to have a page dedicated to the ‘How To’ of doing a project featured in your issue, a kind of DIY section.’ Dear Andrew, thank you for your kind suggestion, it is one we are often asked. Presenting a DIY project in print can be difficult as it would require several photos to document the process. Fortunately, we have a great website and we will shortly start a blog on local DIY projects using detailed images and videos. Thank you for writing in!


The Editor,


submissions for future features. Send a photo and information to the attention of:


HOMEWORKS will select the best



Readers are invited to submit interesting photographs and a brief description of their homes, which may be distinct in their architectural design. Of particular interest are homes that offer outstanding elements of both interior and exterior living spaces.




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Pjazza Tigné, The Point, Sliema


(+356) 2395 7630




½ Flamant Malta


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These beautifully elegant Échasse Vases combine the lightness of glass with slender metal legs, the latter giving the vases their name - the word échasse is French for stilts. The vases, from Danish brand Menu, take inspiration from test tubes in laboratories, and have a classic drop-like shape made from coloured glass. Échasse is available in small, medium and large. core 015

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No. 1, Tower Road, Sliema - Tel: 2258 2951 PAMA Shopping Mall, Valletta Road, Mosta - Tel: 2349 6789


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COOL CUSHIONS Designer Sef Farrugia, best-known for her beautiful scarves, has just released her first collection of cushions. ‘It seemed a natural progression,’ she says. ‘I am first and foremost a textile designer and although I am mostly known for working in the fashion industry, these Illustrative prints work well in other contexts.’ The whimsical prints are inspired by childhood films set in the Edwardian and Victorian era. ‘During those times, importing interiors, objects such as tiles, as well as artefacts from North Africa was quite a thing and that explains why we as Maltese can very much relate to this collection’s visuals,’ says Sef. The cushions are made of silk satin crepe, organic cotton twill and velvet, and trims including cotton twisted rope, fringes and tassels. Sef hand-draws, makes into a collage and digitally manipulates her ideas, sending the finished design to be printed. ‘These are very much my own ideas,’ she says. And lovely ones they are too. The cushions are available through


With Seventies style a new season trend coupled with the current vogue for all things natural, rattan and cane are popular once more. This time round they’ve acquired contemporary flair as can be seen in these stylish Scandi-style chairs. Available from Loft 017

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aving gained a First Class, BA (Hons) Degree in Design, Ceramics from Glasgow School of Art, ceramic artist and designer Sue Mifsud has worked in the medium for 23 years. She mixes all her own glazes, and works with mainly stoneware and rich chocolate black earthenware clays. Sue produces pre-made works, commission work for private clients, design and production work for catering establishments and teaches to all age groups and abilities. Tell us about your style of work… My work is predominantly wheel-thrown ceramics and I have a love and connection with textured surfaces, be that through application of glaze or treatment of the clay.  I enjoy producing functional pieces that are handled and used in everyday life. Clay is such a unique medium and the touch, sound and visual aspects of it should all be enjoyed. My glazes are generally vibrant and quite organic in appearance; I’m not one for crisp lines and block colours. Multiple layering gives me minute details which can be appreciated when pieces are within our personal space and under close inspection.   Your work is appearing in the trendiest local restaurants. How do you develop a range? Chefs are magnificent creatures. I’ve worked and am working with people who are at the top of their game in the culinary field both in Malta and abroad.  They get what I do and see my work as blank canvases on which to present their

creations. I build a relationship with them so that I can understand them as individuals, the business they are running, the menu they are serving and the clients they are catering for.  The development process is lengthy; after the initial discussions I produce a number of prototypes - these are my clay ‘sketches’ so that ideas can be handled and considered. Any finetuning is then done to produce exactly what the client wants and finally, when all is agreed, the work goes into production.  I’m very lucky that restaurants approach me because they like my portfolio and trust my judgment. I want work to be unique and full of fresh life. The top end restaurants want to give their clientele the full dining experience that includes interesting dinnerware that draws attention to and alters the perception of the food that is being served. Can individuals commission their own designs or indeed create them themselves? I work on many private commissions, from single items to full dinner sets. Again, on the larger projects, I spend time getting to know a person and their general likes and dislikes. I like people and conversation so always find this process fascinating.  As I become more familiar with a person, I start visualising forms and surfaces that I think would be appropriate for them. I like to keep clients up to date with the progress of the work and constantly share images with them through the stages of making. I think this gives them a greater appreciation

of what handmade truly means and also a documented history of the work they will own. What is the best part of your work? Handling clay - we are like lovers; sometimes we fall out and disagree but at the end of the day we are inseparable and the most joyful of moments are spent up to my elbows creating new designs and permanent items that, hopefully have an element of beauty. Through the medium I also get to meet the most amazing creative individuals who inspire and support me and wonderful clients who have an understanding and appreciation of what I do. I should also mention the satisfaction felt from passing on knowledge to students, I hope I transfer the passion and addiction I have for ceramics to those I teach.  Why do you love working with clay? Clay is a living entity. Unlike cardboard you can’t cut it out and expect it to automatically retain its shape. It shrinks, warps and its structure has a memory which can bite you at any stage of the making process. The experience you build up as a ceramist allows you, to a large degree, to predict those changes and so work with or around them. I like to keep pushing and constantly experiment to build up a mental catalogue of things that work and don’t.  Ceramics also obviously break which I think adds to their precious quality and a general respect for them. You can have something of great beauty which can outlast us all but one kiss with concrete and it’s lost forever.  


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Painterly perfection

Ceramiche Piemme has just launched a new collection of ceramic tiles by Gordon Guillaumier, the Maltese designer based in Milan. The collection, called ‘Shades’, has recreated the effect of watercolour brushstrokes on ceramics using advanced digital technology. ‘I drew my inspiration from hand-decorated ceramic, like the historic Ceramics of Caltagirone to name but one,’ explains Gordon. ‘Starting with watercolours, I wanted to go against linearity and geometry to give the idea of a hand-decorated surface.’ The five basic concrete-effect shades are combined with four different decorations, each expressed in five hues ranging from blue to light blue, white, golden and mid blue

Brussels designer Alain Gilles’s inspiration for his latest collections for Italian brand Bonaldo is certainly diverse. For the Eddy lounge chair he looked to the world of cycling. Named after the famed Belgian cyclist Eddy Merckx, the chair incorporates a tubular metal frame that is reminiscent of the A-frame of vintage competition bikes. And as with bicycles, elements of the chair can be customised including the head rest, leather side pockets that hang off the arm rests like bicycle saddle bags, a cushion and a plaid blanket. The chair is designed so the cushion and blanket can be rolled up and tucked into the back of the chair frame when not in use.

For the Assemblage side tables, the designer thought of a child’s game. Using cork as a light-weight base, the table can be assembled in different ways, each piece placed on top of the other and fastened using a long bolt that runs internally through the table. In using cork as the base, he also sought to reverse the usual structure of a table, where the lighter material is at the bottom. ‘It is an assemblage of two materials that have been turned, the cork and the wood, but that has a very different finish – as if they were two entities not made to be matched together,’ he says. Bonaldo is available at Form 021

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7/8 Triq L-Ahwa Galea Mosta MST 3342 Tel: +356 2143 7445 Email: Web:




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Colours of the Year

World-famous colour experts, Pantone, released their colour for 2018 - Ultraviolet which was described as ‘a dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade.’ Using trend-forecasting research, Pantone aims to tap into the mood of the times. Explained Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the institute: ‘We are living in a time that requires inventiveness and imagination. It is this kind of creative inspiration that is indigenous to Pantone 18-3838 ultra violet, a blue-based purple that takes our awareness and potential to a higher level. From exploring new technologies and the greater galaxy, to artistic expression and spiritual reflection, intuitive ultra violet lights the way to what is yet to come.’ Paint company, Dulux, chose Heart Wood as its as its Colour of the Year. A warm pink with a hint of heather, it was selected as a shade that reflects the warmth of natural wood, to make a home feel more nurturing in times of flux and to help people relax and recharge. ‘Blush tones continue to be a popular choice in commercial design,’ say Dulux. ‘With Heart Wood, we have made this shade accessible for the home.’

LEMON ZEST The new spring/summer collection from Schlossberg Switzerland has recently been launched and is full of lovely designs that aim to inspire dreams of holidays in warm, sunny climes. A favourite is the Zoe blanc bedlinen that features a hand-painted design of lemons together with branches full of blossoms and buds in a bright yellowgreen and delicate pink. Evoking the freshness of citrus, the yellow will also brighten up any bedroom beautifully. Available from Boris Arcidiacono


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the influencers They all share a similar preoccupation for space and context, their concerns revolving around the client, the user, the audience – those who will experience, share and partake of the environments they create, modify, restructure or rehabilitate. As part of our Architectural issue, and also in celebration of the year dedicated to European Cultural Heritage, as well as that in which Valletta holds the title of European Capital of Culture, HOMEWORKS meets the movers and shakers in the fields of architecture and design, those who are established and the rising stars who are shaping and actively contributing to Malta’s architectural legacy Compiled by: Lisa Gwen Photography: MAS with Andrius Penkauskas


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Left page, top row L to R: Professor Alex Torpiano, Chris Briffa, Matthew Mercieca, Christian Spiteri, Simon Grech, David Felice Left page, bottom row L to R: Michael Pace, Anthea Huber, Patricia Grech, Steven Risiott This page, top row L to R: Dr Edwin Mintoff, Professor Richard England, Konrad Buhagiar, David Drago, Alan Grech, Ray Demicoli This page, bottom row L to R: Janice Fiorentino, Peter Valentino, Karl Ebejer, Sandro Valentino

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the influencers Janice Fiorentino / (X,Y,Z) Architecture & Design Founded in 2013, (X,Y,Z) is an architecture and design studio led by three partners: Daniel Camilleri, Janice Fiorentino and Daniel Micallef. A multi-disciplinary team, it offers a range of services from the overall architecture and spatial design, to dealing with planning applications, followed by detailed structural drawings, and topped off with custom-designed interiors. Design philosophy: Spaces set the mood for an inherent experience. Whether it’s a home, work place or a local hang-out, we are defined by that moment of welcome upon entry. Our senses react to form an experience within the space, reflecting the identity of the client which is then shared with the visitor. Conceived spaces do not compete with the user but a canvas for the functions within. They create a backdrop, composed of light, defined colour palettes, textures, materials and ergonomics, ensuring a pleasant experience for the end user. In the end, this will be part of the bigger picture; giving the community quality urban spaces, homes and workplaces where people interact and create memories together in our fast-paced world. Hero project/s The Living Office at EY Malta, Msida; Private Residences City Soul & White Cube, Attard. Patricia Grech + Steven Risiott / A Collective A Malta-based, architecture and design studio founded in 2014 by architects Steven Risiott and Patricia Grech. The studio strives to steer away from the traditional concept of ‘Il-Perit’ being the jack of all trades, but rather brings together creative individuals, to collectively achieve a better result. The collaborations formed, inspire dialogue and raise the bar such that each project strives for all round excellence. Design philosophy: A Collective roots itself in contextual design, hoping to enrich the local architecture scene and enhance the quality of life of the end user. The approach to each and every project is purely architectural, concerned with the infiltration of natural light and its resulting play of shadows along with a careful study of proportions. The studio employs an eclectic palette inspired by honesty, purity and nature with a complete disregard for stylistic materiality. Hero projects Modernist Townhouse, Birkirkara; GTS Offices, Valletta.

Ray Demicoli / Demicoli & Associates Ray DeMicoli graduated from the University of Malta with a degree in Architecture and Civil Engineering. He joined Malta Consult in 1976 and soon after took an architectural post with DP International in Paris. He established his own practice, DeMicoli & Associates, in 1985. Design philosophy: The role of an architect is to question, challenge and push boundaries, and to to make something special of every task at hand, no matter what the scale. Hero projects include: The Mosta Technopark; his own residence in Mensija, which was nominated for the Mies Van De Rohe European Architectural Award; The offices at The Mall, Floriana; Joinwell Showroom, Qormi; Portomaso; and Palm City in Libya. Matthew James Mercieca / MJMDA A practising architect of almost 20 years, Matthew is founder, senior architect and CEO of MJMDA. The firm has been commissioned and has completed numerous residential, commercial, food & beverage and hospitality projects with a unified design approach: one that sees a continuous thread from project inception to completion. His vision is to integrate design and deliver results that are user ready, functional and enjoyable. His designs have won awards by Din L-Art Helwa and he was awarded Best Architecture Entrepreneur of the Year for 2016. Design philosophy To propagate architecture, structures, building services in an integrated fashion as a refined response to solve specific end user requirements, positively impacting humanity and civilisation; to persistently rise above architecture as a chaotic by-product of necessity and transition to controlled solutions to best address our physical, psychological, emotional and eccentric needs; to employ the latest technologies and offer innovative sectorial services and to be recognisable as a market leaders and trend-setters. Hero Projects Still Kinetic, Detached Villa, SPTT; Solid Porosity, Semi-Detached Villa, Madliena; Carcass City Bar, Valletta.

‘Architecture defines the spaces we live. That is what conceives our experiences, moods and memories’

‘Architecture is an equation; the balance of context, space and social interaction with form, proportions, materials and light. When these parameters are carefully studied, harmony is achieved and cannot be questioned. Good architecture is therefore objectively beautiful’

‘Keep your measures true and be faithful to your promises’

‘Architecture as a real and functional ‘machine for living’ through multidisciplinary collaboration and technology; architecture as integrated design product; architecture as vehicle’


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the influencers Karl Ebejer / ME Architects ME is a young, dynamic, multinational firm, which brings together a varied group of architects having different talents and interests. It is a full service architecture firm specialising in taking ownership of every project and overseeing it from a casual chat to the finished product. Design philosophy Working closely with their clients, the team takes pride in being constantly available, and looking for creative solutions at every turn. Inspiration comes from unexpected sources which allows for a constant flow of ideas. They love working with new materials, or proposing familiar ones in unfamiliar ways. The team is always looking for new techniques and ideas which could become the centrepiece of their next project.  Thinking independently about every project is essential, whilst simultaneously focusing on the fun factor of every task they undertake. Hero project/s St Julians extension (Din l-Art Helwa and Malta Architect awards), St Julian’s; John Taylor offices, Sliema; Catena office, Ta’ Xbiex; Duplex Penthouse, Gudja. Sandro and Peter Valentino / Valentino Architects Established in 2015, Valentino Architects is a young architecture and design studio that takes pride in carrying out projects of high quality that transform and inspire. Valentino Architects has a varied portfolio, from the interior design of intimate spaces to new-build architectural work that resists the standard planning policy checklist approach, but rather reacts sensitively to the site context and gives back to the streetscape. Design philosophy Valentino Architects’ projects do not only aim to provide physical shelter from the elements, but to stimulate and create memorable experiences. The studio’s philosophy focuses on a collaborative approach to design. They do away with the notion of style, focusing instead on creating quality spaces through a study of form, proportion, detailing and materials. Hero project/s eCABS Booking Office, St. Julian's; Risette Restaurant at Casa Ellul, Valletta; Dean Gera Salon at the Phoenicia - Scheduled completion Spring 2018; Threeplusone Apartment Building, Balzan - Scheduled completion Spring 2018; Three Villas, Ibragg - Scheduled completion Winter 2018. Professor Richard England Hon. FAIA Richard England is an architect, poet, sculptor, photographer and artist and also the author and subject of a number of international publications. He is an Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, Vice-President of the International Academy of Architecture, an Officer of The Order of Merit of the Government of Malta and also the recipient of numerous international architectural awards including the CICA Silver Medal, two International Academy of Architecture Grand Prix (2006 & 2015), the 2012 Academy’s Annual Award and the 2000 Belgrade Architectural Triennial Gold Medal. Design philosophy I have always believed that an architect must be not only the designer of the future but also the defender of the past. Architecture is what a building does to you, not what you do to a building. Its frozen music should enchant and lift up your soul. Architecture is about giving poetry to the pragmatic. Hero projects Church of St Joseph, Manikata; Central Bank of Malta I, Valletta; Central Bank of Malta Annexe building II, Valletta; A Garden for Myriam, St Julians; Aquasun Lido, St Julians; University of Malta Extension, Tal-Qroqq; Millennium Chapel, Paceville; Papal Pavillions (1990 + 2001); St Maximilian Kolbe Church, Qawra; St James Cavalier Centre for Creativity rehabilitation, Valletta; Garden of Apollo, St Julians; Dar il-Hanin Samaritan Conference Centre + Meditation Garden, St Venera. Anthea Huber / Archi+ Architects’ Studio Anthea is partner and design director at Archi+ Architects’ Studio, which was conceived and set up by a number of individuals eight years ago, and has since grown organically. Design philosophy: A multi-disciplinary team that provides an all-encompassing service to their clients. Whilst the design team constantly creates new ideas on paper, the surrounding departments assist to bring these ideas to fruition. The team at Archi+ thrives by understanding their client’s lifestyles and specific requirements. Using this as their basis and foundation, they have a knack for transforming these requirements into beautiful spaces. Hero project/s AAT Offices, Life Sciences Park, San Gwann; High-end Residential Apartment , Ta Xbiex; Townhouse intervention, Mosta.

‘Architecture is a weird and complex game you always feel like playing.’

‘Architects have a big responsibility to their client, but also to society at large, as ultimately architecture shapes the way that we interact within the built world’

‘The job of the architect is to make the ordinary, extraordinary’.

‘Keep it simple, because simple is beautiful. And detail: this is what elevates a space from a basic shell to a quality space’ 027

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The research of equilibrium between design and comfort is the key element to a great kitchen. Perfect spaces are created for a family that demands freedom of movement in the most important part of the house.

Flamingo Complex,

Cannon Road, Qormi Appliances: 2279 4205 / 2279 4216 Furniture: 2279 4207 / 2279 4217

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the influencers Simon Grech & Alan Galea / M O D E L MODEL is a young architecture firm inspired by the possibilities of materials, spaces and thinking differently. They focus on clean design as well as contemporary lines and volumes to create architecture that intelligently maximises light, space and flexibility. Their portfolio includes residential, commercial and public projects. Thriving on variety, the team regularly collaborates with artists and craftsmen to develop custom, innovative, quality design and architecture tailored to clients’ needs. Design philosophy M O D E L is a platform that curates a place/studio allowing for interdisciplinary collaboration to take place. M O D E L seeks to challenge/question existing working models in the creative and construction industry, aiming to adapt to the complexities of these industries through its dynamic nature, where no boundaries exist between art, science, business and technology, in the aim to produce relevant, innovative, contextual and sustainable work. Hero projects EVSG Offices, Mriehel; Methode Electronics Technology Hall, Qormi; Charles & Ron Flagship Store, Valletta; Joanna's House, Valletta; Helena’s Villa, Ibragg. Michael Pace / Forward Architects Forward is an architectural and interior design practice, set up in January 2011 by Christopher Micallef and Michael Pace. Originally specialising in high-end private residential conversions and new build projects, the firm has since extended into other areas, such as retail, restaurant and office design, museum design and hospitality. In 2016 and 2017, two Forward collaborations were created: Nidum - an architectural partnership focusing on heritage projects in the public domain, and Forward Structures providing structural engineering solutions directly to clients and other architects. Design philosophy Forward’s fundamental principle is quality through good design. It achieves this through effort, organised protocols and teamwork. The practice’s main resource is its talent pool, so recruitment is expectedly a continuous and rigorous process. Members of staff are asked to leave their egos at the door and join the family. They learn to listen, share their knowledge, to recognise and develop what they love and what they are best at. When they thrive, projects flourish. Hero projects Fort St Elmo National War Museum, Valletta; Betsson Offices, Ta’ Xbiex; 10 Strait Street boutique apartments, Valletta. Chris Briffa / Chris Briffa Architects Born in Malta, Chris Briffa completed his architecture degree at The University of Malta. He furthered his studies at Virginia Tech (USA), and Politechnico di Milano (Italy); and worked with a number of furniture suppliers and designers in northern Italy before establishing his studio in 2004. Over the years, the studio’s work has become synonymous with skilful design which moves away from stylistic mannerisms and is more concerned with proportion, materials and detail. The firm’s extensive project types showcases an innate capability for solving puzzles: of putting details together, making them flow from line to pattern; from plain to textured surface. Design philosophy No detail too complex, no project too small: their design projects range from original product design to revisiting traditional artefacts to new builds which blur the edge between art and architecture. Whether for commercial, residential, public or private purposes, Briffa’s vision flawlessly merges historical buildings and new spaces with a contemporary, yet multifaceted language that integrates passive-energy design concerns with simplified elegance.. Hero Projects 2 22, Valletta; Hanging Home, San Pawl tat-Targa; Gallarija Miftuha. Alex Torpiano/ TBA Periti Prof Torpiano’s career has always been divided into two parallel threads. Along one, there was a very early interest in teaching: he currently holds the title of Dean in the Faculty for the Built Environment at the University of Malta, where he has spearheaded the radical restructuring of the Faculty and the training of a myriad of architects and engineers. Along the other thread, there was the adventure of TBA Periti which was set up in 1988 by three founding partners, and which has now grown into a team of 34 multi-disciplinary professionals and technicians from across the fields of architecture and structure / civil engineering. Design philosophy My design philosophy is that I do not design to a specific philosophy but in response to a context; the context may be a specific site, a specific material, or a specific construction process. Hero projects BOV Mriehel Building; ICT Building at the University of Malta.

‘Good design is not about style; it should be innovative, contextual and holistic, and it makes no distinction between architectural, structural, interior, product or any other design disciplines.’

‘We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us’ - Winston Churchill; ‘The details are not the details. They make the design’ – Charles Eames

‘The highest reward for a person’s toil is not what they get for it, but what they become by it’ - John Ruskin

‘The objective is to give the client what he requires, (whether he knows it or not), with, in Alberti’s words, the greatest beauty ’


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David Felice + Konrad Buhagiar + David Drago / Architecture Project AP has more than 25 years of experience, and has continuously been expanding its field of activity. The practice can provide a wide range of services including Architecture Design, Urban Design and Master Planning, Restoration Theory and Practice, Sustainable Architecture, Structural and Civil Engineering services, Interior Design, Strategic Real Estate Consultancy, Graphic Design, Education and Publishing. Over the years, many iconic public and private projects have been entrusted to the office, from the new Valletta City Gate project in collaboration with Renzo Piano Building Workshop to Barrakka Lift, Valletta Watefront and Dock1; but also a variety of small-scale private projects such as the Mark&Spencer outlet in Valletta, Kenuna Tower, or the residential Dining Pavilion and the most recent Villa Castro (in collaboration with Jens Bruenslow). Design philosophy Each project tackled, whether architectural, design or planning related, contains a collection of ideas, some tried and tested, others new and unprompted, whose unorthodox overlap and unsettling combination is what brings the product to life. Projects are driven through varying facets of architecture, interior and space, tracing trajectories that are derived from specific areas of research and expertise, be it that of the architect, the engineer, the critic, the educator, the artist, the writer or the anthropologist. Although solutions may seem simple, the origins of each project are complex, articulated and unstable, the only certain conclusion that emerges from this research is the ineffable quality of Architecture. Hero projects Marks & Spencer Outlet, Valletta; Barrakka Lift, Valletta; Dining Pavilion, Zejtun; Kenuna Tower, Nadur; Stanhope Gardens, UK. Christian Spiteri / C & K Architects Originally set up in 1996, C & K Architects is a multi disciplinary firm which has contributed positively to, and has been actively involved in, a number of remarkable projects across the private, residential, commercial realms of architecture. Design Philosophy Always adhere to the original strategy and concept and don’t succumb to compromise. Expect the unexpected just like a traveller on a new journey; each commission will present new circumstances and new acquaintances along the way.  As the perfect manifestation of personification, projects seem to develop a specific character which is generally reflected from the onset, stretching all the way to the construction phase and even beyond: when the building meets its ultimate fate either to make way for its replacement or indeed as a celebration of its existence! No job is ever too small. Pleasure and satisfaction in architecture may be sought from the simplest engagement to the most complex of schemes. Hero projects Multi-unit residential project, Madliena; Private residence, Bidnija; Marina di Valletta, Pieta. Edwin Mintoff / Edwin Mintoff Associates Edwin Mintoff Associates was set up nearly 30 years ago by Dr. Edwin Mintoff. Over the years, the firm has been responsible for the development of a vast number of projects that span a very wide range of building typologies and programmes. The practice has also spread overseas to Europe as well as North Africa and has included development of offices, hotels, restaurants and banks, community centres, residential developments and other projects in Italy, Latvia, Tunisia, Libya, Turkey, Spain and Sudan. Design philosophy The firm’s philosophy is based on an approach which seeks to create sustainable development in harmony with nature, to give life to a building to make it both an effective and representative space, to produce not just an aesthetic design but one which enhances the user’s experience. Hero projects Skyparks complex, Luqa; Casino di Venezia, Birgu; Baystreet, St Julian’s, Fimbank Complex, St Julian’s; Cugó Gran Macina Grand Harbour project, Senglea.

‘Architecture, for us, is more than space, setting, context and form. We would like to create an architecture that is a place-maker, a container of meaning, a catalyst for the creation of kinship, a fabricator of myth and a producer of narratives.‘

‘The best architecture is a result of having identified the challenges and endeavouring to turn the same challenges into opportunities.’

“ We design buildings which in turn design the surrounding environment, to be experienced by different users, and each building creates a new unique experience’


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The homes in this issue are all examples of architectural talent and panache. Over the page, the new-build home designed by studio Archi+ is bold and striking. On page 042, Bernard Vella has used curves to create a lovely home for his parents. A small space of just two rooms has been cleverly transformed into a beautifully bijou home by Valentino Architects on page 050, and on page 056 Simon Grech of Model had the challenge of making a white box into an apartment with soul 033

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RISING STAR Natural materials, a commanding use of space plus dramatic focal points make for an unforgettable home Architects: Arch+ Photography: MAS, Andrius Penkauskas Styling: Fiona Caruana Carabez Words: Rachel Loos


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he look-at-me star of this house is the staircase, a striking black metal structure that rises statuesque through the house to give the interior real architectural flair as well as making the most of the expansive size of the space. It was the brainchild of architects Archi+ who designed and oversaw the build of this luxurious new home. ‘We wanted the staircase to look solid but also be as airy and open as possible to create shadows and allow light to flow through it,’ says Adrian Mangion, founding partner at the firm. It was, however, a challenge to make and to install. Made of steel and weighing four-and-a-half tonnes, it was constructed in Italy and put in place in sections, each one hanging like a pendulum from the end of a pulley before being carefully lowered into place. It was precision work - between the treads is open space, and each section had to exactly fit, to the millimetre, the support structure that was fixed to the wall.

Living room: with view to the pool, the living room area is defined by the large and super-comfortable corner shaped sofa. Filling the space between the sofa and the staircase is the elliptical wood-burning stove that, like a piece of sculpture, hangs suspended from the ceiling high above. The pipe also heats up to give warmth to the upper floors. Natural wood flooring from Parquet Warehouse


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‘We wanted a modern house of a good design and with a lot of light...But at the same time we didn’t want a house that didn’t fit with its historic surroundings’

Kitchen: at a 90 degree angle to the living room with a view of the pool and the back garden, the kitchen mixes materials for a stylish look. The splashback and worktop are of highly durable Dekton in the same matt black shade. 036

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Entrance: walk through the front door and the view is of the pool, framed by the stained oak inner rooms. The rooms not only make the large volume of the downstairs space more manageable and human, they also hide the living spaces from immediate view. One houses the downstairs bathroom, the other contains another fireplace which is a feature of the more formal dining space Dining area: the guest dining room is away from the kitchen, a deliberate move to keep this more formal area separated from the more everyday personal living spaces


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Bedrooms: upstairs, the three bedrooms have views of the sea, as does the fourth which has been converted into a gym. Off the main bedroom is a large dressing room. Sheers and curtains by FMoquette


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However, while the staircase was possibly the most nervewracking part of the build, it wasn’t the only issue. The house is ultra-modern but the neighbouring properties are many hundreds of years old and this presented its own planning and design challenges. ‘We wanted a modern house of a good design and with a lot of light,’ explains the homeowner. ‘But at the same time we didn’t want a house that didn’t fit with its historic surroundings.’ And so the decision was taken to retain the old rubble walls which surround the property. ‘In fact, we took advantage of the walls,’ says Adrian. ‘The entrance to the property is through them and there are not many properties where this is the case.’

Bathrooms: the colours of the downstairs continue upstairs, and in the bathrooms create elegant and restful spaces


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The travertine facade on part of the house also reflects the colours and shapes of the rubbles walls, linking the two. The plot of land is long and narrow; making the most of the dimensions, the two-storey house is L-shaped, wrapping around a large swimming pool on the ground floor. All the main rooms of the house have a view - either of the sea, garden or pool - for a feeling of openness. The open-plan living area overlooks the pool, the travertine flooring both inside and out in a similar pale shade to connect the two spaces, which also brings the relaxing mood of the water to the interior. The living room area is further enhanced by the elliptical wood-burning stove that hangs suspended from the ceiling, the chimney extending up through the space, like a piece of sculpture. ‘We’re very proud of the fireplace,’ says the homeowner. ‘We knew it would look good but before we used it we weren’t sure how practical it would be - but it heats the room really well, and it’s really easy to use too.’ The family moved in last October and after a two-year build are finally calling it home. ‘We wanted a modern house, but one that was comfortable, practical and cosy as well as visually stylish.’ And that they certainly have.


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Scaletta Radiator designed by Elisa Giovannoni

Mosta Road, Lija t. +356 21412222 e.

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Photography: Tonio Lombardi, Ramon Portelli Styling: Fiona Caruana Carabez Words: Rachel Loos With thanks to: Elektra, Loft, Rug Gallery

Ramon Portelli

Design boldness and Antipodean inspiration have together created a home that does things differently - and brilliantly - to create a space that is an inspiring place to live


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he view from this house is mesmerising, a patchwork of green of fields and in the distance, the deep blue of the sea. Unsurprisingly, the vista dominates especially as enormous picture windows transform it into living wallpaper, the scene changing with the sun and the seasons. However, the view is only part of the story of this house; take a closer look and other aspects come into play which, together with the view, create a stunning home not just to look at but also to live in. The property was purchased by architect Bernard Vella’s parents about a decade ago. With their three children now living independently, they wanted to downsize both in space and in the number of objects they were surrounded by. This house, with its view, says his mother, was The One. ‘I could see Mdina from the other house but that was taken away from me,’ she says. ‘I was looking for another view and when I saw this house I didn’t think of anything else but the view.’

Ramon Portelli

Exterior wall: the curve of the upstairs wall can clearly be seen and looking up, frames the view of the sky. Bernard was influenced by architect Luigi Rosselli who is based in Australia Entrance: step into the house and the eye is drawn down the corridor, the curving glass wall giving way to window. On the left, the doors to the bathroom and storage units are hidden within the American walnut 043

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Ramon Portelli


Kitchen: Bernard installed a large window that lets lights into this part of the room but also gives a view while cooking. The island is of ceramic slabs. Plates and glassware are kept in the large storage drawers to the right 044

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Ramon Portelli

Living area: the upstairs living area is dominated by the wonderful views. Here dark wood gives way to lightness of oak, which is combined with travertine flooring and white walls and cabinets. Plenty of storage keeps the house feeling airy and relaxing. The light is by Linea Light; the chairs around the oak table andthe coffee table are from Loft. Rug from Rug Gallery

Unfortunately, while the view was wonderful, on further inspection the house was markedly less so. It was in a terrible condition, and with unsightly and illegal modern concrete additions. In fact, it was so awful, that despite having bought it and its alluring aspect, Bernard’s parents weren’t sure the house could ever be a home - and despite Bernard sorting out planning permission and drawing plans for a modern house, this was the situation for some years. ‘My parents went as far as putting the house on the market,’ says Bernard. ‘It was only when they got an offer and my mother got cold feet about selling it, that they finally decided they would go ahead.’ This hiatus, though, was ultimately for the good. During some of this time, Bernard lived in Sydney, and while there he was inspired by the Italian-born architect Luigi Rosselli who practises in Australia. ‘I loved his work, the curved designs that he known for,’ says Bernard. ‘In my opinion contemporary architecture can be quite cold - it’s good for offices but for houses you have to be careful. Curves are one way of making a contemporary house less harsh.’ The slatted screen at the far end is a clever way of screening off the stairs whilst keeping an airy, open feel 045

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Ramon Portelli

Artist’s where B also ha


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Artist’s studio: the upstairs room where Bernard’s mother paints also has extensive views. Davide Groppi floor lamp from Elektra


Bedroom: the main bedroom which is downstairs leads onto the garden

Bathroom: the main bathroom is downstairs on the ground floor. Here rectified gres tiles are set off by units clad in American walnut

On his return to Malta, Bernard re-drew the plans for his parents’ property and the influence of Luigi Rosselli can be clearly seen with the house showing off its curves as soon as you step through the front door - the contours of the ground floor corridor and its floor-to-ceiling glass wall echoed in the shape of the walls of the first floor. To make the house modern, almost all of it was demolished bar the facade. Here, however, Bernard filled in the existing windows, leaving their decorative architraves, and inserting new ones where he wanted them. As the old house only had views from the balconies, he detached the large section of the house from the party wall, which while making the house slightly smaller, allowed him to create 180 degree views which are accentuated thanks to the enormous picture windows that straddle the curve of the first floor. The only, but major, stipulation given to Bernard was that the main living area was to be upstairs. ‘I spend most of the day in the kitchen and living room rather than the bedroom so I wanted this living space to be upstairs,’ says Bernard’s mother.


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Facade: the only part of the original house that remains. The original decorative detailing is still in place but Bernard inserted new apertures where he wanted them

While Bernard preferred to have the living space downstairs, he acceded to his mother’s wishes - she was the client after all! - and so the bedroom, main bathroom and study for Bernard’s father are downstairs while the open-plan living / dining / kitchen space and studio (which converts into a guest bedroom) for Bernard’s mother who paints, are upstairs. Bernard tailored the interior with the layout. The curving glass wall on the ground-floor gives view of the garden and here Bernard has kept the colours darker. ‘I wanted it to be connected to the earth so here the colour is grey with American walnut cladding,’ says Bernard. ‘Upstairs, it oak, white walls and sandstone so it’s full of light.’ For Bernard’s parents, their new home has been worth the wait. ‘Before we moved here, I got rid of so many things and people warned me that I would miss them,’ says Bernard’s mother. ‘But I don’t. It’s been a real sense of release. And of course, I have the view that I wanted.’ 048

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VISIT OUR ONLINE STORE Psaila Street, Santa Venera /+356 2147 2241

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CREATIVETHINKING THIS APARTMENT IS JUST 50 SQUARE METRES BUT HAS BEEN EXPERTLY TRANSFORMED INTO A CHIC AND COMFORTABLE HOME FOR TWO Architects: Valentino Architects Photography: Julian Vassallo Words: Rachel Loos Special Thanks: Studio Moda for furnishings 050

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Entrance hall: the original Maltese tiles look beautiful in the hall and corridor. The breakfast bar by the window takes advantage of the light through the original arched window Private zone: wooden steps lead into the private areas of the apartment. The original Maltese tiles can be seen in a pattern resembling a rug. Just seen is the chair of the study 051

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Living space: the first main room of the apartment is the living/dining and kitchen space. The standard-sized kitchen is enclosed by concertina doors that close to neatly shut away the kitchen. ‘But it is possible to open just one door to reach the kettle to make a cup of tea,’ says Zoe. The windows in this room were made floorto-ceiling for more light


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Study: a reverse view of the bedroom and apartment, taken from the study. The arched doorway was uncovered during the building work

n the first floor of an old building in Valletta, this apartment boasts beautiful original features including arched apertures, detailed stonework and lovely original flooring, but is also rather small - when Valentino Architects first set eyes on it, it was little more than two small dark rooms, a total of 50 square metres.  So when the client asked the architects to create a liveable space, it was certainly a challenge. ‘We wondered how we were going to do it,’ says architect Zoe Mizzi, part of the team at Valentino. ‘Traditionally spaces are defined through four walls and each room that has a function. Given the size of the apartment, the design required a different approach - blurring the lines for a more fluid layout, and one that also used furniture in a different way, so maximising and creating the illusion of space.’ The result of this thinking is that two rooms have been cleverly

transformed into seven different living spaces - the entrance, living room with kitchen, dressing table-style area, bathroom, bedroom and study. With the apartment on a linear plane with one room leading onto another, the architects ensured that from the entrance one can see all the way down to the end which gives it a sense of spaciousness. As well, light has been accentuated by making some windows larger and making the most of others.   Spaces have been zoned using flooring, steps and platforms which create different levels and a sense of moving from one living area to another.  The architects have also squeezed the maximum use out of each space. The living room includes the kitchen, but with limited space, it is neatly housed in a wardrobe that can be closed for a tidy look. 053

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Dressing: a mirrored light-weight wall and wooden shelf mark the dressing area. ‘On the floor are the original Maltese tiles which have been re-laid in a pattern that resembles a rug,’ says Zoe. ‘This helps define this area.’ Beyond is the bathroom Bathroom: the narrow bathroom has a lowered ceiling in black which gives a cocooning feel to the space. On the walls are 10x10 ceramic tiles. The floor is of slate Bed: the bed is on a raised platform giving it its own sense of space. Elevated, it is on the same level as the window which has been transformed into a Juliet balcony for a more open feel

Through the living room door the architects installed two steps. ‘The idea is that you go up the stairs to the private zone,’ explains Zoe. Here along one side is a bank of hidden storage, containing the washing machine and dryer. On the other is a small dividing light-weight wall that is mirrored to create a dressing table area for applying the finishing touches when getting dressed. The other side of this wall is the bed headboard along with a recessed shelf that removes the need for bedside tables. Here, taking inspiration from the way the interior of boats are designed, the floor has been raised, creating more useful storage as well as space to hide unsightly services. The bed has been further elevated by a wooden platform. ‘Together they lead you up to the bed, giving it a sense of its own space,’ says Zoe. ‘It also means the floor of the bed is at the same level of the original window which is now a Juliet balcony, for a more open feel.’  The raised floor has also solved the problem of access to the communal spiral stairs at the back of the apartment - the door to it was unusually 1.2 metres off the ground, but with a raised floor is now easily reached, and the architects have also made the surrounding space a bijou study. Not a centimetre has been wasted in creating this remarkable home. 054

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Call us on: +356 2144 4110 / +356 7985 3296 Triq Tal-Balal, San Gwann, SGN 9016, Malta

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THE ART OF STORY-TELLING How do you inject soul into a new-build apartment? This was the challenge presented to the architects of this home - and they responded masterfully Architects: Simon Grech of Model, with Dawne Fearne Photograpy: Alan Carville Words: Rachel Loos Special thanks: Elektra


his apartment was the first residential new build for architect Simon Grech and the challenge was taking a nondescript space and giving it character. ‘With an old building you have interesting spaces to work with, different volumes and heights which make it easy to create an interesting and meaningful space,’ he says. ‘This apartment on the other hand, was a standard new build with no memories or stories, no soul. The challenge was to give it a soul, to create poetry.’ This he has done using texture, colour and thoughtful design ideas that transform what was once little more than a white box into something altogether more interesting and most importantly, comfortable as well as stylish for the homeowner, a young businessman, to live and relax in. ‘We had to do something different,’ says Simon. ‘For example with the corridor, we just didn’t want it be a space with doors on either side - we wanted to create an experience. Here you don’t see the doors and we also put in an art installation inspired by the artist James Turell; it creates a sense of transition, in a soft and spiritual way.’ The walls are painted a pale shade of grey. ‘If they were left white, there would be a high contrast between shadow and light,’ explains Simon. ‘With a grey hue, the light plays a different game. It diffuses more, it travels deeper into the apartment.’

Corridor: a hidden door and an art installation inspired by the artist James Turell gives the corridor a sense of identity 057

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When you step inside the apartment now you do feel something, it does touch you...


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Kitchen: part of the open-plan living area, it is clutter free thanks to the bank of floor-to-ceiling wall units and the stream-lined island. Kitchen from FORM Living and dining area: here the original concrete ceiling has been exposed giving texture, as does the herring bone pattern of the oak parquet. The wall of floor-to ceiling units hide the TV and audio systems amongst other things. The walls have been painted a pale shade of grey, which softens the light and diffuses it through the apartment. Light fitting and Artemide floor lamp from Elektra

Texture, key to warming up such a cold, blank space, has be introduced through the lines that run throughout the apartment and the oak flooring that’s laid in an interesting herringbone pattern. Above, in the ceiling above the living area, the original concrete ceiling has been exposed. ‘The contrast between the clean soffits and the exposed ceiling gives depth and the idea of a story to the home,’ says Simon. Creating a sense of calm was also a key consideration. In the living area, large wall units hide the television and audio system so the room is not dominated by them. In the kitchen the usual paraphernalia is behind closed doors and the look has been integrated into the rest of the furniture which also helps create a sense of tranquility. The front door has been hidden to accentuate this mood. ‘The idea is that the homeowner shuts the door and is immediately cocooned in their own world,’ says Simon. Other doors within the apartment can be left open or closed for cosier feel, and to reduce heat loss in chillier months.


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The bedroom is particularly large, the homeowner having bought the bedroom of another apartment to make his more spacious. ‘We had to knock down a wall to integrate it,’ says Simon. ‘The other bedroom was on another level, though, so we have used it to create a difference between the washing space and the sleeping space.’ The end result is something Simon is happy with. ‘When you step inside the apartment now you do feel something, it does touch you,’ he says. ‘It now feels that it has a story.’

Bathroom: a micro-cement finish in the bathroom creates seamless surfaces - a key request by the homeowner who did not want to have to clean grouting. The bathroom is in what was the bedroom of another apartment. On a higher level, this helps zone it from the bedroom Bedroom: pared back but made warm with textured fabrics, concealed lighting helps create a cosy mood. Artemida light tables from Elektra


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The kitchen is a key room in the house no longer just a place to cook but also to eat, relax and entertain. If you’re looking for a new kitchen and dining space, be inspired by our 15 page special on new trends, looks and advice... Modulnova architectural kitchen > The Blade floor-to-ceiling tall units with a lime finish open with a push-to-open mechanism or by grasping the 15 cm door protrusion. The island is made of a 3cm thick Corian worktop and satin Bianco lacquered base units. The edges match perfectly to create arrangements that look like a single block.


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SMALL IS SMART Got a small space but in need of a kitchen? Then the Mini Kitchen could be the answer. Super compact - sizes start from just 113 cm wide - it is small enough to fit into a room making it ideal for studio apartments as well as bed & breakfast and Air B&B accommodation, aparthotels and offices. The kitchen can be closed either with rolling shutter or folding doors so it looks neat and unobtrusive when not in use. The kitchen is made in Italy and comes complete with a sink, tap, plate rack, built-in dustbin, built-in extractor hood with light, rod for hanging ladles, stainless steel backsplash and optional built-in mini-fridge freezer and ceramic hob. There is even space for a microwave. It is built using a thickness of 38mm with ABS edging and scratch-resistant surfaces. Available from H Decor (Gozo)

DINO FINO’S DESIGNER SHOWROOM Thanks to a mix of local and foreign investment Dino Fino has opened a five-storey showroom in Sta Venera, with three of the floors dedicated to kitchens designed and produced by Aran Cucine, Italy’s main kitchen exporter. Dino Fino is CEO of the newly-formed Al Sadi Fino Group - its chairman and equal shareholder is Majid Al Sadi - and speaking at the opening of the showroom which was attended by 300 guests including government ministers said, ‘Our vision is not lacking in ambition. We are aiming to become, in the next few years, a major player in the local home and contract furniture market. Thanks to this partnership, we also plan to vigorously enter the Middle Eastern and North African markets.’ Also on display at the showroom are dining chairs and tables created by Infiniti Design and office furniture by the renowned Quadrifoglio Group. A second showroom is planned to open in October. Over two floors, it will feature bedroom and living room collections from Mercantini Mobili and Siloma, sofas by Samoa Divani and EMU outdoor furniture. It will also include a section dedicated to hotel furniture as well as a smart in-shop Design Café.

NEW WORKTOP COLOURS The industry-leading Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) 2018 held in Orlando, Florida, in January, saw the launch of new colours for kitchen worktops. Dekton which produces a scratch, heat and stain-resistant top, built on the award-winning success of the colour Trilium which was launched in 2016, introducing Orix (resembling worn cement), Nilium (white and grey) and radium (resembling acid-degraded steel plate). Silestone introduced new shades to its Eternal Collection of natural quartz tops. Eternal Bianco Calacatta, Eternal Calacatta Classic (white with grey-ish veins), Eternal Desert Silver, Eternal Emperador (warm, tobacco brown) and Eternal Marfil (soft cream) are inspired by history’s most popular marbles and offer veining and reflections that extend over the entire surface of the slab, granting it a uniquely natural and beautiful look. Dekton and Silestone are exclusively represented in Malta by Halmann Vella


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BOFFI OPEN FLAGSHIP STORE IN MALTA AT CORE+ Italian designer brand Boffi has just opened its first multi-brand store in Malta, showcasing its kitchens as well as bathrooms, and wardrobe solutions in collaboration with core+. The store is located in a modernist building in the centre of Birkirkara (close to Mc Donald’s). As well as Boffi, the 300 square meter showroom also contains a number of other premium brands - Lema, Living Divani, Carl Hansen, De Padova, Sub Zero and Wolf. ‘These brands are perfectly integrated in a space that enhances their common aesthetic language,’ said Antonio Gauci, director of core. For more information visit

A VELVET TOUCH With Retro still a strong look and velvet the fabric du jour, these Aunty dining chairs by Dutch home brand Pols Potten, are very much on trend - and look fabulous too. Comfortable to sit on, they’re great for injecting colour and texture as well as adding a softer and more cocooning vibe to a space. The tapered legs which are also upholstered in the same velvet completes the Fifties look. They go perfectly with the round glass table and the sculptured gold-coloured legs. Also pictured is Pols Potten glassware. All from Loft

FAUX TEXTURE Porcelain tiles that resemble natural materials continue to be a big style story. They give the textured effect of wood, stone and marble but are more economical and easier to maintain. The Genus Home Collection by Imola Ceramica features three colours which resemble marble and stone, but which have also been re-interpreted with new design features to create an original and eye-catching look. Available from B&M Supplies 065

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SMOOTH OPERATOR The new Mediterraneum & Livigno SCIC kitchen at Satariano Home features a large-scale Florim stone gres tile that is 160cm x 320cm for a worktop surface that appears seamless and is extremely smart.


If you’re looking for a statement tap that is superfunctional too, then this high, U-shaped one is just the thing (above left). It comes with a shower function and the black rubber flexible pipe makes it efficient as well stylish. It’s also easy to clean. The square, minimalist look remains a strong favourite and this tap is simple but striking (above centre). Not too low in height that it disrupts cleaning pots and pans but not high enough to cover a window, or look too bulky under kitchen cupboards. As well, the 360 degree spout gives ease of use to the user to turn the water on wherever it is required. If you have a PVC window that opens inwards alongside your kitchen sink, then this adjustable tap (above right) is for you - as well as being a modern U-shaped kitchen tap, the spout folds down inside the bowl, which allows you to fully open the window. All are available from Bridgepoint


German brand Nobilia’s new XL system has higher carcasses for 10 per cent more storage space than the usual sized ones. This not only makes for roomier drawers that give enough space for larger utensils, it also makes for better ergonomics for those who are taller. As well as base units, the XL range also includes tall units and high boards. Oxford House


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Vialino Ltd Valley Road, Birkirkara Malta BKR 9021 2147 2882 | 2144 0492 (Stores)

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HOMEWORKS gives you the lowdown on what’s in vogue for kitchens this year By Lisa Borain

BLACK IS THE NEW BLACK Expect to see a lot more black cabinetry in the kitchen for an understated chic but also bold look. Add subtle warmth with metallics and a splashes of colour. Nolte Windsor at Vella Falzon Home

GREEN CABINETRY The blue with brass fixtures kitchen has evolved into a muted natureinspired green. You’ll see a lot of the colour with a muddy undertone for a heritage feel. This green is absolutely striking contrasted with light shades of stone or wooden countertops. Here, a muted soft aquamarine coloured cabinetry in a kitchen from Joinwell

FLOOR STYLE Many don’t consider rugs in the kitchen, but apart from softening the hard surfaces and shiny appliances, they can also prove very handy as a water splashing stopper, particularly if placed next to the sink. If you don’t like the idea of a rug in the kitchen, go for a patterned floor tile instead. It’s a subtle way to add impact and to introduce a touch of colour and pattern. Here, flooring by Satariano 068

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ALL ON SHOW As well as the streamlined look, with everything stashed away behind closed doors, the opposite is also a strong trend - kitchen islands with open shelves and utensils hanging loose for a kitchen where accessories add to the look and feel. Kitchen from Brands International

STYLE MIX This year has already seen an increased use of mixed styles; panelled doors with open units and clear glass doors merged with a contemporary style verging on the ‘soft’ industrial. Here, Euromobil kitchen, available from Form

NEUTRAL QUARTZ WORKTOPS Engineered quartz, such as Silestone, is a strong trend for worktops - in the US for example, it has surpassed granite in popularity. Made of 93 per cent natural quartz mixed with a natural resin binder, it is exceptionally hard, resilient, eco-friendly and flawless. Silestone comes in over 60 colours, however, neutral work surfaces are the current favourites. Halmann Vella’s pick of the most popular colours are Silestone Tigris Sand, Blanco Zeus, Arabesque, Nymbus, and Gris Expo - all lovely neutral shades that contrast well with virtually any cabinetry colour choice. Colours from Halmann Vella

CONCEALED VENT HOODS Designers are moving away from showcasing vent hoods as a design focal point. Now the aim is to try to clad the actual vent so that the focus is taken away from the hood as such, or to conceal it altogether. Here, the Elica Adagio disappearing hood from Flamingo 069

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COOL LOOKS Get inspired about what is possible for your new kitchen....

INDUSTRIAL Concrete effect mixed with mesh and large hoods - the industrial look is still strong. Kitchen from Carmelo Delia

PATTERN Different but co-ordinating pattern is stylish and eye-catching. Terra range of Marca Corona Ceramics from Halmann Vella

METALLIC SHEEN Copper has come into the kitchen in a bit way, not just with accessories now but for units too. Nobilia kitchen from Oxford House


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Glassware and other kitchen objects becomes part of the decoration. Kitchen from Brands International

Handle-less units give a contemporary and uncluttered feel. Nobilia kitchen from Oxford House


MODERN SHAKER The simplicity of Shaker style never goes out of fashion and suits the current mood for pastels. Here it has been given an update with decorative handles. SCIC kitchen from Satariano Home


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THE RELAXED KITCHEN Bring living room-style elements into a kitchen for a less functional look. Erika kitchen from Dino Fino


Black and white make a striking combination. Bondi kitchen by Proman

CONCRETE This textured finish adds subtle texture and works well with a variety of materials. Kitchen by Proman

MIXED MEDIUMS Mix materials and looks along with wallmounted or suspended shelving and open cabinetry for an original look. Kitchen from Doimo Cucine 072

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Gubi round table, available in an oak, American walnut or stained ash finish. Loft

Wave dining table by Kenneth Cobonpue. Satariano Home

Opera extendable dining table with hand-tapered legs, available in solid or walnut with choice of finishes. Form

Table Talk

Give your dining space, whether it be a separate room or part of the kitchen, it’s own character with a statement dining table. A glass top, unusual legs, contrasting chairs, all work to make the space special

Glass top round table with criss-crossed legs. JYSK

Irati table with crystal top by Lola Glamour. Satariano Home 073

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A SPRING TABLE When thinking seasonally, don’t just choose flowers - use fruit, vegetables and herbs to decorate your table too

Styling: Monique Chambers Photograpy: Alan Carville Special thanks: Camilleri Paris Mode, LOFT, ZARA HOME

Top left and above: Vases and pot holders, plates, napkins and cutlery, Zara Home; Tiered stand (just seen), LOFT; Napkin rings, Camilleri Paris Mode; Wine glasses by Lalique Left: Napkin, plate and knife, Zara Home; Napkin rings, Camilleri Paris Mode


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‘Like a designer garment, the item is crafted to the individual’s requirements and is guaranteed to be a one-off.’


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Colin Leuellen, Operations Manager at CHILLISCHILLI offers an overview of the local bespoke market’s rise in popularity – and why. ‘In this day and age, more and more individuals are looking to express their uniqueness and this includes the design and style of their homes. As a company specialising in bespoke it is very exciting to note that the interest in custom furniture has been steadily rising throughout the last decade.’ ‘So why does one opt for bespoke? What are the perks? The advantages are many, ranging from the way in which a piece is fabricated, to the level of detail and the extent to which a piece is tailored to the customer’s needs. Almost like a designer garment, the item is crafted to the individual’s requirements and is guaranteed to be a one-off.’ ‘One will not run the risk of owning a product which looks like it was put together from standard pre-fabricated components. Pieces which have been previously measured for will fit exactly where required, flowing seamlessly with the rest of the interior. Opting for bespoke presents the client with a diversity of options, such

as the choice of materials, colours and hardware. Furniture can be made to fit the particular needs of an individual.’ ‘Custom design does away with the limitations brought forward by standard averaged dimensions available on the market. This can be explained by giving the example of the proverbial kitchen countertop, the height of which can easily be adjusted to the specific user, a minor detail, yet a common concern among customers.’ ‘Bespoke also overcomes the challenges put forward by awkward shaped walls or confined spaces and often solves issues related to functionality. One client may prefer drawers to shelving in the kitchen, another might need to customise a piece in order to fit in or even hide a flaw in the wall, whilst another might want to add his or her personal touch by perhaps adding bold colours to make certain areas stand out in a space.’


‘The process to creating bespoke at CHILLISCHILLI starts by establishing a relationship with the client. This is necessary in order to wholeheartedly interpret their requirements. Some clients come in with drafted designs and have a very precise idea of what they are looking for while others will look to us for guidance. Whatever the case, the clients can embrace their dream, they are in charge and we are there to resolve any technical issues. If they have a hint of a concept we can help incubate and develop the idea to a finished item which they would feel a part of. Producing a one-off piece requires a degree of engineering and development even just for one item. The final design normally includes contributions and recommendations from the carpenter assigned to the piece. ‘The team at CHILLISCHILLI is composed of handpicked skilled craftsmen who blend traditional know-how with contemporary and innovative methods to fabricate unique pieces worthy of the brand. Working closely with some of the island’s main contractors, designers and architects, every member of the crew strives to ensure the seamless creation and installation of each piece with the sole aim to satisfy and delight their clients as they bring to life the bespoke design.’


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‘People are looking for a holistically integrated space’ Hidden kitchens: these are increasing in popularity every year and when you consider the combination of style, function and suitability for multi-use areas, it just makes sense. A concealed kitchen is the design solution to make the open plan kitchen and living room functional yet perfectly integrated. The kitchen becomes retractable by specific doors that allow kitchen elements to be hidden, while offering a unique and sophisticated aesthetic impact. What used to be the ideal solution for convivial small spaces and is now becoming the trend for even the largest of spaces. Entertainment no longer has to feel like it’s happening in a kitchen. Visitors don’t have to feel like they’re passing through or hanging out in a kitchen, but rather a holistically integrated space. ‘Domestica brings in special mechanism components from Germany to be able to create hard-wearing and long-lasting panels that slide into a niche. Within the concealed spaces lie state-ofthe art and kitchen appliances and mechanisms. A combination of solid wood and moisture-resistant MDF, the panelling is beautifully finished and painted with classic detailing so as not to appear too minimalist. Striking marble juxtaposed against the neutrally finished classical panelling harmonises the timeless and elegant look. Price-wise, you’re looking at approximately the same price of installing a quality branded mass-produced kitchen to create a bespoke kitchen such as this. What brings up the price is not the workmanship, but the fittings, which you’d still pay for in a storebought kitchen.

Managing Director Chris Vassallo Cesareo of second-generation bespoke furniture factory DOMESTICA explains what clients are asking for in their bespoke kitchens. Harder working islands: with the island being the sole star of the show – particularly in hidden kitchens – many are now opting for harder working islands. Most will have breakfast bar seating or banqueting seating attached to the island so that dining is incorporated into the kitchen area. Beyond this, an island can also work as further storage space. Some are even utilising their island for food prep with the addition of a concealable small sink or hob so that everyone can get involved with making dinner. Broken plan kitchens: a broken plan kitchen is an open-plan design but with the addition of a freestanding shelf unit or raised breakfast bar to create separation without the need for a wall. This more zoned approach is an evolution of open-planned living and allows for a more sociable experience for everyone. Matching living room furniture: open plan kitchen/living spaces designs aren’t going anywhere, so to help further integrate this look a lot of clients are looking for bespoke furniture that carries the same design. For instance, side boards or crockery cupboards that carry the same pattern or colour as the kitchen cabinetry are increasing in popularity. Exotic woods: exotic woods, such as ebony, teak and olive wood are finding themselves increasingly in demand in Malta. Although they’re more unusual and expensive than other species, some exotic woods can make beautiful cabinets. Space for wine: It seems like most of our clients are now requesting space for a wine fridge in their kitchens. What used to be something that was brought in as an after-thought is now going into the planning stages.’


The second-generation family-run Domestica factory and showroom offers bespoke kitchens and furniture to ensure that clients get the exact dimensions and designs they require. The installation of a bespoke kitchen takes approximately 12-14 weeks upon order. With hands-on Managing Director Chris Vassallo Cesareo at the helm and his team of 20 craftsmen, clients receive a unique, hand-crafted and superior product, without any surprising expenses. 078

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Artisans in joinery Miguel de Giorgio and Adrian Bartolo have had TOP DRAWER for over 20 years, and experience within the industry for far longer. They discuss the ins and outs of creating a bespoke kitchen

‘You have to get to know the client’s needs and preferences before designing someone’s perfect kitchen’ Should homeowners hire a designer to create a bespoke kitchen?

Miguel: ‘Nowadays you have an educated consumer who knows what they want. Trying to design a bespoke kitchen can be a somewhat painstaking process for those who don’t have experience, so a lot of people do engage a designer. However, if a client wants to do it themselves, we’ll help every step of the way. It’s enough for us if the client has an idea of preferences for their kitchen. They can leave the technical part to us. We work really well with clients who have a vision of what they want. Then it becomes our mission to see the vision through.’ Is there a kitchen design formula that you recommend sticking to? Adrian: ‘No. For instance, I don’t believe in the triangle because each individual is used to their own system in the kitchen. You can’t just say that one design is right for everyone. You have to get to know the client’s needs and preferences before designing someone’s perfect kitchen.’ Miguel: ‘We like to cook, which is a big advantage when creating a bespoke kitchen, particularly if the client needs help with functionality design. We know the right questions to ask, which will bring about the best end result.’ Do you have access to the level of quality that you want in materials? Miguel: ‘We must always commend our suppliers. Everything

is accessible with them which means that nothing is impossible. Nowadays the consumer really knows what is quality and what’s not. People want the best quality and they’re willing to pay for it, which is why local suppliers are making it available. This shows what a high demand there is for good materials.’ Adrian: ‘It’s great because this is an edge that we never had before. Years ago, we were crying for quality timbers and now we have them whenever we want them.’ How hard are kitchens to customise in comparison to other rooms in the home? Miguel: ‘Well, it’s the most complex room, and it’s definitely the most expensive room in the home because you have the working space, the working surface (which could be as expensive as the entire rest of the kitchen, depending on what’s chosen), and the appliances (which again, could cost more than the cabinetry, depending on what the client wants).’ What is the bespoke kitchen trend at the moment? Miguel: ‘A classic look with modern functions. Also, kitchens that have character and that answer the client’s specific needs.’ What is the most popular kitchen wood?

Adrian: ‘American Walnut is the most popular because it’s prestigious and it ages beautifully. However, oak has made a comeback recently.’ ABOUT TOP DRAWER

Top Drawer Ltd started operating in 1998 with one aim perfection and excellence in the manufacturing of made-tomeasure single-piece furniture, kitchens, and bedrooms. The company also manufactures doors and windows using the traditional method with tenons and mortices. ‘We are extremely hand-on,’ says Adrian. ‘We both do different elements of the work ourselves, and since we’re also the owners of the company, we have a huge interest in seeing the job done well.’ Adds Miguel: ‘We follow the project from initiation right to the very end of installation. We always make sure the finished result is exactly what we agreed with the client. Reputation in this business is crucial. In fact, we never really advertise. All our clients have come through word of mouth, so it’s really important to us that this never gets compromised.’ 079

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Google Home Google has become an essential part of life to find out information. It’s in our computer, mobile and even on our wrist. With Google Home, Google enters our home as a voice-activated speaker which enables users to give voice commands to interact with services through Google’s intelligent personal assistant called Google Assistant. Are you ready for your own personal Google? Available at KLIKK

See Address Book on Page 097 for stockist information

The Big White 2018 is a very special year for SLV. The brand is celebrating the 10-year anniversary of BIG WHITE, the catalogue. Once again this year it showcases new products and highlights, together with the mainstay product ranges. The catalogue is a bible for information relating to light fittings for various applications including residential, outdoor, HoReCa, offices and commercial. Design professionals are encouraged to get in touch for a copy of the catalogue. ESS Ltd.

BRISTOL By Frandsen Design, this top quality Danish table lamp is only 10cm high. Available in copper/gloss. From TKS THE KITCHEN STORE

Yamaha MusicCast A wireless,

versatile, multi-room speaker system that enables you to play music from your network, enjoy any audio content from your smartphone and play the same or different music in various rooms at the same time. From KLIKK

Anker Wireless Chargers The Anker PowerPorts use wireless technology to simplify charging into just setting down your phone. Anker’s patented MultiProtect provides temperature control, overcurrent and overvoltage protection, and more to ensure complete safety for you and your devices. From A&A Mizzi Limited, all leading outlets or online at 080

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TV’s Are you looking for a new television? Choose from a wide variety of brands such as Philips, Grundig, Finlux, Sharp, Toshiba, LG and Samsung. From OLED screens which deliver premium picture quality across a wider viewing angle, to HDR with fantastic colour accuracy, to Smart 4K Ultra HD which has four times the resolution of Full HD. For outstanding detail and clarity, one is sure to be spoilt for choice! Sizes ranging from 22-65 Inch. Monthly payments available. From KLIKK

The polycarbonate diffuser is assembled on an aluminium body with the on/off and dimmer functions by means of a touch sensor on the base. This ordinary shape hides a LED source. The translucent or chromed diffuser turns transparent when the light is switched on and reveals the absence of a traditional bulb, just like magic. The light is soft and warm and is perfect as a bedside, desktop or living-room lamp. Light Design Solutions


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SHOP Butler Sinks The classic butler sink is a timeless character piece for the kitchen. Whether a single or double bowl, it meets today’s needs in full and looks equally good in a country house or modern style kitchen. Available exclusively from BATHROOM DESIGN


This armchair combines comfort with the elegance of Scandinavian design. It is a great addition for any dining room. In the month of March you can benefit from the great offers on dining chairs, with up to 50% off. JYSK



Dining & living room furniture range that includes a wide assortment of units from dressers, showcases, pantries, sideboards in different sizes, dining tables, chairs, benches, shoe cabinets, TV cabinets and shelves as well as hall furniture, all made of solid Scandinavian pine. Chairs €89.95 are being offered at the special price of €69.95. Dining ext table at only €395.00 GrannySmithShop


Available in grey and white. € 72.95.


Florist Spring/Summer ’18 collection Raised leaf

design, 100% porcelain set. Salt dish €11.99, Serving dish €22.99, Pitcher €35.99. From Zara Home

Made from solid tulip wood, the offer includes 6 door wardrobe L296 D65 H241; chest of drawers L12 D52 H98.5; bedside tables L50 D35 H70; mirror and matrimonial bed L180 D212 H115. €4419.00 Offer €3790.00. Delivery & assembly included. T&M apply.

Main Bedroom Suite


GAMMELGAB A dining set from JYSK is a smart way to get the best deal on a great selection of dining tables and chairs. This set includes a dining table, chairs, sideboard and display cabinet. JYSK

WMF Bread bin A gourmet

bread drum with chopping/ cutting board, 32cm D, approx 19cm H. Made of Cromargan®: rust-free stainless steel, glass and plastic. TKS THE


Beds A beautiful choice of solid brass, heavy duty bedsteads. The choice includes contemporary, modern as well as classical and is also available in cast iron in different colours. and sizes. Special features include base height adjustment and a heavy duty beech-slatted base. The beds can be ordered in a colour of your choice and the lengths can be modified. GrannySmithShop

See Address Book on Page 097 for stockist information

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SALE SALE SALE SALE on showroom beds on showroom beds

on showroom beds

Purposely designed mattresses help you realise the true value of good sleep. Our beds, handmade from from the best natural materials by skilled craftsmen, are also more than a product. They are an investment for life. Now is a great time to discover the true value of real deep sleep.

Purposely designed mattresses help you realise the true value of good sleep. Our beds, handmade from from the best natural materials by skilled craftsmen, are also more than a product. They are an investment for life. Now is a great time to discover the true value of real deep sleep.

on showroom beds

Purposely designed mattresses help you realise the true value of good sleep. Our beds, handmade from from the best natural materials by skilled craftsmen, are also more than a product. They are an investment for life. Now is a great time to discover the true value of real deep sleep.

Purposely designed mattresses help you realise the true value of good sleep. Our beds, handmade from from the best natural materials by skilled craftsmen, are also more than a product. They are an investment for life. Now is a great time to discover the true value of real deep sleep.

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SHOWPIECE Valletta Contemporary (VC) is a new art space that brings together contemporary design and architecture from the time of the Knights of St John. Designed by architect and artist Norbert Attard, white walls mingle with glass, metal and exposed Maltese limestone. Three original spaces have been merged and two new floors added. One wing has been converted into a concept shop, another into a concept bar - food for the mind, body and soul. The gallery itself showcases work of highly influential and recognised local and international contemporary artists, and aims to provide a home for Malta’s diverse cultural community through its varied exhibition calendar and educational events. Opening in April 2018, VC plans to be a catalyst for discussion, social cohesion and cultural discovery by championing contemporary art.


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Photographed soon after planting, the pool can be seen beyond the barrier

his outside space is dominated by a swimming pool so key to creating the garden was integrating the pool into its surrounds. ‘The owners have children so they wanted a barrier but something that would integrate into the garden rather than limiting the space even further,’ explains Helen Basson from Scape Design, who works with James Basson, the garden designer responsible for last year’s gold-medal winning Chelsea garden that was based on a Maltese landscape. ‘We didn’t want anything too solid or horizontal as children would have been able to climb it. We came up with the idea of the vertical bars as a double purpose, both sculptural and practical. They are curved on the linear plane as they are of varying heights and on the horizontal plane as they serpent around the pool in and out of the planting, completely integrating the pool into the surrounding garden and giving a harmonious feel instead

...creating low maintenance, dry gardens that mix contemporary design with traditional skills;

The gravel path framed by Lomelosia cretica, Helichrysum italicum, Hyparrhenia hirta, Catananche caerulea and Euphorbia characias

Phlomis russeliana, Euphorbia characias, Helichrysum italicum and Thymbra spicata provide a lush surround to the barrier


of blocking off a defined space in a fixed rectangle’. The bars are made of steel that were left to rust first. Then, a fixative was used to keep the colour and to prevent further rusting. Scape Design, who are based in Monaco but work throughout the Med, are known for creating low maintenance, dry gardens that mix contemporary design with traditional skills; here, the choice of plants was selected to suit a Mediterranean climate and include Euphorbias and scabious. ‘Previously the garden had a real problem with weeds particularly palm shoots, so we mulched the whole surface with gravel to stop them from coming back through,’ says Helen. ‘As the plants have been selected to survive in the Mediterranean climate naturally, they do not need to be watered, and weed competition is kept to a minimum. Once the plants are established there is very little maintenance required.’ The pool barrier is complemented by the gravel path which also wends its way through the space. ‘The gravel has placed in mounds to give some variation in relief to an otherwise flat garden and also facilitates drainage in times of heavy rainfall,’ says Helen. The end result? An outside space that is both vibrant and beautiful.

The rusty colour of the vertical bars fits beautifully with the colours of Catananche caerulea, Euphorbia characias, Helichrysum italicum, Stipa tenuissima

Flowering Lomelosia cretica


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In season...

There’s nothing more enjoyable than eating food straight from the market, cooked so the freshness shines through Recipes: Chef Joe Vella Wine recommendations: Georges Meekers, Emmanuel Delicata Winemaker Photography: MAS All recipes serve 4. Recipes for the above image on page 089 086

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INGREDIENTS 1 de-boned sea bass fillet, weighing 600g 1 red chilli chopped 1 cup extra virgin olive oil 1 tsp mint leaves 1/2 lemon juice 1 lemon cut into segments cress

DRESSING 1 cup extra virgin olive oil ½ lemon juice 1 lime juice 1 tsp chopped coriander 1 tsp chopped basil pinch of salt

METHOD Using a very sharp knife, slice from head to tail cutting very thin slices. Cover 4 plates with the slices of fish and then dress each plate with olive oil, seasoning, chilli, mint leaves, lemon segments and cress. Finish with the dressing.


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FILLET OF BEEF with mushroom crust & Jerusalem artichoke gratin

INGREDIENTS 4 fillet of beef 200g spinach leaves 20g butter salt and pepper

MUSHROOM GARLIC CHEESE CRUST 20g garlic 150g mushrooms 25g chives 1 cup fresh cream 1 egg yolk 30g parmesan cheese 1 tsp whole grain mustard

ARTICHOKE GRATIN 200g Jerusalem artichoke, peeled and sliced 100g smoked bacon, diced 25g butter 85ml double cream 85ml milk 40g Parmesan, grated 4 chives, finely chopped salt and pepper

METHOD To make the artichoke gratin, fry the bacon cubes in the butter until crispy. Drain and set aside. Place the artichokes in a small saucepan with the cream and milk, bring to a gentle simmer and cook until tender but still holding their shape. Drain the artichoke and put the liquid back onto the stove to reduce. When creamy, add the artichoke and bacon and season. Divide the mixture between four small heatproof pots or ramekins and top with the cheese and when ready place under the grill and cook until golden. In a hot pan seal the fillet of beef from all sides, at the end add a knob of butter for glazing. In a hot pan fry the mushrooms and garlic. Place the mixture in a deep bowl, add whipped fresh cream and chives, egg yolk and mix together. Scoop the mushroom mix on the fillet and gratinade the beef with parmesan cheese. Place the fillet in a hot oven for 3 minutes until the cheese melts. Place the spinach leaves on a warm plate and place the beef on top. Warm through the beef jus and spoon over and serve.


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PUFF PASTRY GALETTE with grilled zucchini, aubergine, plum tomato & parma ham INGREDIENTS


4 round puff pastry 200g slices of plum tomatoes 200g grilled aubergine 200g grilled zucchini 50g sesame seeds 40g Parmesan shavings 50g baby rocket leaves Parma ham slices

100ml extra virgin olive oil 30ml balsamic vinegar 20g chopped coriander

METHOD On a slightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry to a thickness of approximately 3mm for the base. Chill in the refrigerator for about an hour. Glaze with egg yolk and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius and cook the pastry for 15 minutes. Leave to cool. Now cover the pastry with slices of plum tomatoes, grilled aubergines, grilled zucchini, baby rocket leaves and Parma ham. Place the galette in the middle of the plate and finish with shavings of Parmesan cheese, and drizzle the dressing around the galette.


2017, MEDINA GRENACHE CABERNET ROSÉ, IGT MALTESE ISLANDS FRIZZANTE, I.G.T. MALTESE ISLANDS The French would call this fleshy, well-structured rosé a ‘vin de gastronomie’. It’s a delightful, aromatic dry blend made from handpicked Malta-grown red Grenache grapes blended to local Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s spicy and savoury, packed with red summer fruit flavours: a winning combination that brings the delicacy of the entire dish to the fore without overwhelming the sweet luxury of quality Parma ham.


2017, VICTORIA HEIGHTS CHARDONNAY, DOK GOZO, SUPERIOR Like the recipe, this wine, too, will make a farmed seabass taste splendid, a wild one sublime. Made exclusively from sunkissed quality Chardonnay grapes from Gozo, this fresh yet slightly fullerflavoured dry white wine entices with ripe flavours of white stone fruit. You would think its waxy lushness would be too assertive for such a light dish. But no, it’s a real treat. Chill well but not into submission.


2017, MEDINA CABERNET FRANC, DOK MALTA, SUPERIOR Don’t be fooled by the seasonal greens that suggest a white wine choice. Red is the better match for the staple of red meat. Go for the latest vintage of Medina Cabernet Franc, made exclusively from handpicked grapes from vines grown in ‘Hamranija’ or terra rossa soils. This garnet-red wine is packed with intense fruity flavours of black cherry and blackcurrant. It’s full-bodied with appealing regional attractiveness. 089

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The Well-Travelled Architect What catches the eye of an architect when they travel beyond these shores? In the first of a regular series, Keith Schembri of KEIRO Architects gives us his guide to Morocco Words and Photography: Keith Schembri


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orocco is often described as a country of allure, mystery and beauty and this is certainly in part due to its unique architecture. Its long history of indigenous Berber people, a series of foreign colonies, as well as religious and cultural influences have shaped the country’s architectural styles. Moroccan architecture is rich, and as varied as the landscape of the country itself. The kingdom of Morocco sits majestically in the Maghreb region of North Africa; its coastline abuts the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Inland, you can expect to find a mix of expansive desert married contentedly with rocky mountains. The contrasts in the country’s landscape is matched by the diverse architecture ranging from ornate with bold colours to simple, clean lines with earth tones. The oldest examples of Moroccan architecture are found among the Atlas Mountains in the ancient kasbahs and old villages. The walls of the kasbahs, once used as forts and later becoming palaces, are made of sun-dried brick in rich red clay tones, similar to the many gates found in some of the larger cities along the coast. Although the walls and buildings are massive, they camouflage to perfection with the surrounding landscape. This style of blending in is contrasted by the bright colours and geometric patterns, most notably in the tiles known as Zellij that are one of the distinctive features of Moroccan architecture. Zellij are geometric tiles used to form eyecatching and convoluted patterns, earning the title of the 'Prince of Tiles'. Undoubtedly, Moroccan architecture and Zellij go hand in hand, and you will find numerous designs and patterns incorporating these tiles. It is such diversity that ensures Moroccan architecture remains vibrant and inimitable. Walk among the buildings, follow the lines of the old kasbah walls, explore the towns; in every city, village, or town, no matter how small, you will find at least one mosque with a tall minaret towering over the city, with walls and fountains covered in green and white Zellij and a beautifully adorned Mirhab (a niche indicating the direction to Mecca) in stucco and marble.  The traditional Moroccan tiles merging designs and colours are incorporated into the fountains used for purifying the body for prayer and in other parts of the building. It is no wonder visitors find Moroccan mosques, such as AlQarawiyyin Mosque located in the spiritual city of Fez, to be the epitome of Moroccan architecture. 091

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Strong Islamic influences on both old and contemporary Moroccan architecture are displayed in the Islamic design elements of sweeping calligraphy of Quranic verses which reign in harmony with the extremely detailed friezes of flowers and geometric patterns. These unique features are not only restricted to mosques. The Moroccan homes in the Medina, known as 'riads', have small frontage and distinguished only by a modest door. Rows of home doors parallel to each other form a labyrinth of winding alleys and passages through the Medina. This set up is the basis for the most striking of contrasts and contradictions, that of the bare alleys and the highly ornamented, highly decorated and well-kept inner dwelling. The architectural elements of Moroccan design do not stop at the building design or internal walls and ceiling but extend to doors and pieces of furniture placed inside the riad which can be of the highest art qualities, made of the finest earth elements such as iron and wood finished with paints or natural pigments. The courtyard, representing the vital life force of Moroccan houses, is invariably square or rectangular in shape, set around a fountain or basin called a sahrĂŽdj. The importance of the sahrĂŽdj in the riad cannot be understated as it represents water which is a symbol of life in desert lands and as such is valued as sacred. Thus, the courtyard is indeed the heart of the house and the fountain or basin is the focus of every courtyard. Both the exterior and interior components of Moroccan architecture are produced with great care and thoroughness by hand, by generations of Moroccans craftsmen who pass their craft down from father to son. While each generation adds a modern element to design, the sense of the traditional craftsmanship is valued and will never die. 092

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home renovation loans

@ 4.99%* Free life cover on all personal loans

* Offer valid until 30th June 2018 and may close earlier at the Bank’s discretion. All personal loans are subject to normal bank lending criteria and final approval from your BOV branch. Benefit of free life cover applies to a maximum of €25,000 per loan, until age 69 or until loan account is closed whichever is the earlier. Representative example of a BOV Personal Loan based on a loan amount of €12,000 being made available by Bank of Valletta p.l.c. at a variable interest rate of 4.99% p.a. (interest margin of 2.54% plus Bank Base Rate of 2.45%): APR will be 5.309% p.a. and loan will be repayable in 84 equal monthly instalments of €169.94 over a term of 7 years. The total sum payable throughout the term of the loan, assuming the variable interest rate remains unchanged, will be €14,324.96 being capital of €12,000, interest of €2,274.96 and a one-time processing fee of €50. Terms and conditions apply. ** The Consumer Lending Bank Base Rate means the basis, established by the Bank from time to time, on which the rate of interest payable generally on all Bank consumer lending is determined. Bank of Valletta p.l.c. is a public limited company licensed to carry out the business of banking and investment services in terms of the Banking Act (Cap. 371 of the Laws of Malta) and the Investment Services Act (Cap. 370 of the Laws of Malta).

If you are looking to renovate your home, a BOV Personal Loan is the perfect solution. Talk to us today.

Terms and conditions apply.

2131 2020 I Issued by Bank of Valletta p.l.c., 58, Triq San Żakkarija, Il-Belt Valletta VLT 1130

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Floor - Ceiling

Chigo Comfort and Reliability


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CHIGO Airconditioning is one of the biggest International AC Manufacturers having very low Energy consumption








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ART 094

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Bespoke gardens for finer living





Available from A&A Mizzi Limited, Mriehel 21488160 /168 E: W: www 096

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ADDRESS BOOK AA Mizzi Triq is Salib tal - Imriehel, Mriehel. 2148 8168. Agora 268, St. Thomas Street, Fgura. 2180 7000. malta.3 Astral Abate Rigord Street, Ta’ Xbiex. 2134 0562. B&M Supplies Triq Dun Karm, Birkirkara. 2144 0710. Bathroom Design 358, Naxxar Road, Birkirkara 2144 1328. Boris Arcidiacono 233 Tower Road, Sliema. 2133 3638. BOV 58, Triq il-Kanun, Santa Venera. 2131 2020. Brands / BoConcept Brands International Ltd, Triq tal - Balal, San Gwann. 2144 4110. Bridge Point Psaila Street, St.Venera. 2147 2241 Brighter Solutions Ahwa Galea, Il-Mosta. 2143 7445.

JYSK Triq Il -Mosta. Lija. 2713 7364

Dino Fino Al Sadi Fino Company Ltd, Old railway Track, St.Venera. 2124 0100 doimo cucine Valley Road, Birkirkara. 2010 1837. Doneo Park Lane Buildings, Mountbatten Street, Hamrun. 2123 0741. Ecomaxx 276, Triq il Baltiku. 9994 7280. Elektra Mill Street, Ħal Qormi QRM 3100.2546 3000. Elektro Services Triq -il- Ferrovija, santa Venera. 7905 0568.

Klikk Triq Dun Karm, B’kara Bypass, B’kara. 2750 2750. Krea. Mdina Rd, Qormi. 2146 3501 Light Design Solutions Ltd Emmanuel Schembri Street, Birkirkara. 2149 6843. Loft St Pauls Street, Naxxar. 2099 9966 Mattress Collection Mdina Rd, Zebugg. 2146 1961. NEXT Home Triq Bisazza, Sliema 2134 4156.

Emmanuel Delicata Winemaker, The Winery on the Waterfront, Paola. 2182 5199.

Parquet Warehouse 230, 21st September Avenue, Naxxar. 9942 0561

ESS ESS Building, San Gwakkin Road, Mriehal, Birkirkara. 2125 5777.

Proman Interiors The Business Centre, N/S in regional Rd, Msida. 2131 0334.

FMOQUETTE INTERIORS 23 Parish street, Naxxar. In Armonia showroom. FGP 109, Valetta Road, Luqa. 2167 3627.

S&S Bathrooms. Mosta Road, Lija. 2141 2222. www. Satariano Marina Street, Pieta 2149 2149. Studio Moda 82, Naxxar Rd, San Gwann. 2138 6812.

Carmelo Delia Valley Road, Birkirkara. 2147 2882.

Flamant Pjazza Tigne, The Point, Sliema 2395 7630. face book: Flamant Malta

CAS Ltd 206, Triq il - Kappillan Mifsud, Santa Venera. 2123 0777.

Flamingo Flamingo Complex, Cannon Road, Qormi. 2279 4000.

TKS 82, Naxxar Rd, San Gwann 2060 1055. The Point, Sliema. The Duke gozo. www.Tks-onlinestore.Com

Form Triq il -Wied Ta’ I - Msida, Msida 2144 6000.

Vella Falzon Valley Rd, Msida. 2144 5165.

Granny Smith 85, St. Pauls Street, Naxxar. 2141 8984. H Decor Mgarr Rd, Xewkija. 2156 3235. 7906

Wurth Mdina Road, Haz-Zebbug 2149 4604.

Core upper valley road, B’kara . 2144 3449. Core + 1, Fluer de lys road. 2144 2245. De Valier St Gwakkin Street, Industrial Estate, Mriehel. Fairline Centre, St Marta Street, Victoria, Gozo. 2149 1111.

Halmann Vella The Factory, Mosta, Road, Lija. 2143 3636.

Zara Home Pama, Valletta Road, Mosta. 2349 6789. Tower Road, Sliema.



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#insta_eye candy Get an extra shot of design high from one of our favourite Instagrams


by Call me Gwen

A curated Instagram featuring and celebrating the doors, facades and architecture of the Maltese islands. With some 750 images showcased on the square-format feed, the collection of quirky, brightly-coloured, abandoned and dilapidated apertures keeps growing, thanks to an ever-growing community of door-lovers and hunters.


Back Story.indd 98

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Inspiration in the right angle. Simple. Clear. Timeless. Inspiration in the right Nova Pro Scala incorporates the best of Nova Pro. And much more besides! Elegant edge Simple. Clear. Timeless. definition is a striking feature of Nova Pro Scala. The broad spectrum covered by the product

Inspiration In the right angle. NOVA PRO SCALA DRAWER SYSTEM Simple. Clear. Timeless.

More glass. More height. More space.

More glass. height. space. Alongside theMore familiar CrystalMore and railing options, Alongside thePro familiar and railingaop tions, The new Nova Scala Crystal range also includes high the Nova Proand Scala rangeside alsoinincludes a high glass version a drawer height 186mm. glass version and a drawer side in height 186 mm.

Nova Pro Scala incorporates the best of Nova Pro. And much more besides! Elegant edge definition is a striking feature of Nova Pro Scala. The broad spectrum covered by the product range enables segmentation from the entry-level version through to the premium segment and provides individual styling option designer panels which fit snugly drawer sides. range enablesthesegmentation from theofentry-level version through to on thethe premium segment and

More glass. More height.Valley More space. Road, Birkirkara

provides the individual styling option of designer panels whichAlongside fit snugly the drawer sides. theon familiar Crystal and railing op tions,

WÜRTH Limited WÜRTH Centre, Mdina Road, WÜRTH Limited, Zebbug,Centre, ZBG 9016 WÜRTH Mdina Road,

HW88 FRONT COVER Final 2***.indd 2

the Nova Pro Scala range2149 also2149 includes a high T: 21494604 glass version and a drawer side in height 186 mm. T: 2149 4604

Nova Pro Scala incorporates the best of Nova Pro. And much more besides! Elegant edge Zebbug, 9016 definition is a ZBG striking feature of Nova Pro Scala. The broad spectrum covered by the product range enables segmentation from the entry-level version through to the premium segment and provides the individual styling option of designer panels which fit snugly on the drawer sides. MP0069.18 b.indd 1

26/02/2018 15:14 14:29 20/02/2018

Back Cover_Issue 88_Homeworks 100

23/02/2018 13:43


Who are the architects that have shaped and are now shaping how Malta looks today and in the future? In this the Architectural issue we have...