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port folio.

sebastian tanti burlo’

archi tecture.

design workshop 1. As our first design assignment we were given a petrol station to design. The site was in a typical Maltese rural area, off a main road. On the site there was a vernacular Maltese rubble hut. This structure locally is known as a Girna. The brief stipulated that apart from the basic petrol station there had to be a shop, office, car wash, public toilet, and mechanics garage. From the first instant my imagination was immediately captivated by this clash between the vernacular structure and the modern service structure of the petrol station. So I went about studying the identity and form of the Girna to see what I elements I could use and complement in the form and lay out of the Girna and site. In the end I decided on taking the form of the Girna and manipulating it to form the structures of two buildings and the canopy.

sketch of traditional Maltese Girna.

The next step was obviously to study traffic flow and how vehicles of all shapes and sizes would behave in the petrol station.

final concept shape of the main structure.

design workshop 1. plan and section of car wash and workshop.

sketch of master plan and traffic flow.

image of model.

design workshop 2. For our second design project we were to design a pavilion. The function of the pavilion was to be dictated by the individual student. The Mondrian Pavilion was born from my lasting impression of the De Stijl movement. When it came to the massing of the building, I looked towards Piet Mondrian for inspiration. As you can see from the sketches the design evolved from the canvas of Mondrian to a building, to the separation of his black ridged lines and the white and primary coloured canvas. The black lines which to Mondrian represented the guidelines and balance of society became the outside structure of the pavilion, while a white canvas box which was to be supported by the outside structure would represent the creativity and potential of society and culture. The interior of the “white canvas� box was to be a mouldable space, in which the exhibitor and artist could devise spaces which would best suit his work and needs.

design workshop 2.

design workshop 3. Second year’s first design workshop was divided into two. The first assignment was to design a public toilet for different locations in the capital city of Valletta. For the second project we were given excolonial gun posts that litter our coast line. With these pill boxes we had to design a studio apartment for a client of our choice.

Buggibba Gun Post, Buggibba, Malta. 2008

St. Georges Square, Valletta, Malta. 2008

chill box.

In the first part of the Design Workshop 3 the assignment handed to us was to design a habitable area for a client of our choice, within the old colonial gun posts that litter the Maltese coast line. Since the British left the Island, these pill boxes have either been left to deteriorate or were taken over by squatters. The pill box that was assigned to me was located in the town of Buggiba, towards the north of the Island, just 50 meters from the sea. On surveying the site it was found that we only had an interior space of 5mx5mx5m to play with. The client that I was designing for was a celebrity chef. So the brief was simple. He wanted a getaway space, where he could enter and feel completely cut off from the world, where he was free to experiment with his cooking, and store his collection of music and films. From the get-go the project was about trying to maximise the small space. At the side of the pill box, there was an added room that was built in the 1980s, after the proper research I found out that I was able to remove this stone room and rebuild another room as long as it retains the same dimensions. I took full advantage of this and designed a very open and airy kitchen through which the client could look out at the sea. Artificial vine made out of rope decorated the exterior of this glass box and acted as louvers to disperse the Mediterranean sun. Another Important space was the pantry, which was placed in a small gun room. In this pantry the client could house and grow his fresh herb and keep his wine collection. For the living area the design was simple, clear space. I also designed a specific lighting/seating/table product for the area to maximise the space. the stairs from the entrance which continue into the living room also double as storage space.

chill box. The mezzanine level which you can access from the staircase found upon entering the pill box. Is a very simple space just there to house the bed room and bathroom. The mezzanine is connected to the outside deck area by a bridge. This space was designed so that the client could invite people over for summer parties.


Loki the Maltese slang word for Toilet. In the second part of the Design Workshop 3 each student was assigned sites around the capital City of Valletta to design and place public conveniences. The site that was handed to me was that of St. Georges Square, also known as Palace Square. This specific square holds a very important place in the history of Malta. Also it is the home of the Grandmaster’s Palace which houses Parliament. At the time of the assignment the square was being used as a parking area. So when I came to designing the public toilets I had to keep in mind its historical importance and also I had to see how I would tackle its function as a square. After long debates with my tutors it was decided that this specific square should not be graced with public toilets on its surface. So the solution that I came up with was to go semi-underground. The access to the toilets would be adjacent to the square from Archbishops Street. Once that hurdle was surpassed the project began to fall in place.

night shot of St. George’s Square.

As you can see in the following pages the toilets structure doubled as a light installation piercing into the squares sides. The tops of the structure were designed out of wrought iron with patterns that were taken from old gates found on the site. When it came to redesigning the square, during my research I discovered many underground passages that were blocked off. So I used these passages and fashioned them into the grid pattern that Valletta was designed in. This created a new experience, from the top one could look down through this glass roofed corridors, and from the corridors one could in a certain way travel through the history of Valletta.

plan of St. George's Square.

loki. concept development

loki. sketch of front elevation.

master plan.

photo montage of the site, daytime.

photo montage of the site, night time.

work shop 2007.

Every year the architecture students originations SACES organises a design workshop. These workshops would consist of young architecture students teaming up with Architects to design and build installations. This specific workshop was called SUPERVENTIONS. This installation that I worked on was located in Sliema a busy, commercial “city”. The concept behind the work was the Past, Present and Future city scape of this urbanised area. Three structures were designed. The closed box which represented the past. Closed because we cannot change what has happened. The squed and translucent box represent present Sliema. Through this box one could view specific framed views of the actual “city”. The future was represented by a set of stairs leading to nowhere. The idea being, the way this city has been developed the only way is up. We also included on each structure a quote of Paul Gaugain; “Whence come we? What are we? Wither go we?”


work shop 2007.


work shop 2008. Valletta is dead. How can we inject life into it? This is the question that we asked ourselves when we discovered that our site was the capital city Valletta. During the day this historic city is a hub of business and retail activity. We thus designed fake life. The white silhouettes are grouped along Merchants Street at night. The most interesting aspect is how busy this street is during the day and the contrast of the emptiness at night. Each group depicting a different aspect of social life, culture, family, friendship, etc.


work shop 2009.


work shop 2009. bottle it. In the last workshop organised by SACES the group I was working in were given the title “waste in the city�. After long nights of discussing waste and what waste means to us and to the city, we were struck by the notion that what the worst thing that was going to waste were our ideas. How could we save and preserve these ideas? We therefore built the Idea Bank, which was to be a structure placed in the the main area of a town or city where any idea could be deposited and eventually read. We then scavenged through rubbish dumps and found an abandoned monkey-bars which was cleaned up and transformend into the structure of the bank. The search for the plastic bottles came next. Each plastic bottle was to become the capsule in which each idea would be deposited.


exhib ition design.

reaching for the past. In October of 2008 me and two other architecture students where selected by the University of Malta to design an alumni exhibition. The exhibition comprised of enlarged graduation photos of university alumni from 1919 to 1980. The venue was the theatre of the old University (MITP) in Valletta. We thus went about studying the site. From close examination we realised the potential of the lighting grid that was suspended over head. From there, the idea of reaching for the past was born. Our main aim was to design a layout that would not hinder the movement and mobility of the guests, since the majority of who were elderly. We therefore started suspending the photos from the lighting grid with elastic ribbon. This gave us a clear circulation space and also allowed for the viewers to interact with the photography.

reaching for the past.



animal farm. During the Easter Holidays the Architecture students where given the opportunity to work on and redesign the Faculty of the Built Environment.

Instead of changing anything we decided to embellish the main circulation area. So a group of us embarked on a graffiti project. The idea behind this was based on George Orwell’s Animal Farm. The Pig represents the system, while the revolting sheep are us architecture students challenging the system with our ideas and designs.

Architecture Easter Workshop 2009 University of Malta, Malta.

illustra tions.

see it my way. In 2006 I was commissioned by the Office of the Commissioner for Children to illustrate a school book, which was designed to educate children on other children with special needs. The brief was simple, let your illustrations be visual aids and ques for the readers, so that they could understand the text better.

see it my way.

photo graphy.


castello sforzesco, Milan, Italy. 2008


of scaffolding and religion.

Duomo, Milan, Italy. 2008


going up?

T011 Torino, Italy. 2008


calle. Venice, Italy. 2008

space for sale.

Milan., Italy 2008


new romance.

Valletta, Malta. 2008


flex it.

Torino, Italy. 2008


ladies & gents.

Valletta, Malta. 2008


political cartoons.

lest we ever forget (1939-2009) In early August of 2009 I got the opportunity to continue in my fathers footsteps and publish my political cartoons for the prestigious daily newspaper, The Times of Malta, since then I have had two cartoons published every week.

published in “The Times of Malta�,


from silvio with love.

During the summer of 2009 one of the hot topics was the problem of irregular immigration, even straining relationships between the Italian Government and Maltese one. At a point the Priminister of Italy Silvio Berlussconi shipped back a group of irregular immigrants to Libya. The time coincided with Colonel Gaddafi’s 40th anniversary of his take over.

published in “The Times of Malta”,

So interpret the cartoon as you see fit.


from lisbon to dublin. On the 3rd October, Ireland voted yes in the referendum regarding the Lisbon Treaty.

published in “The Times of Malta�,


product design.

spoon chair.

Cutlery at table is a thing of the past

For our 1st year 2nd semester design workshop we were asked to come up with a design for a chair and create a suitable poster to present it. The Spoon Chair also called nooops was what I came up with. The model was fashioned out of a typical table spoon. Shell in bent plywood, leather upholstery

‘Spoon’ frame in stainless steel

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Old Portfolio ('07 - '09)  

This was my first portfolio. Although the work inside is rough and rudimentary, it shows my first tastes of architecture and design. It give...