location: mosta, malta
year: 2015 – 2018
A mixed-use development has been designed that provides a new local landmark to an existing neighbourhood in Mosta, with two buildings having their front façades on two separate streets. The virtually zero-energy buildings are insulated throughout and have been carefully designed in terms of their orientation and the energy performance of their façades. The design of the ground floor provides an active frontage with entry points that are set back in order to increase pedestrian space. This allows for the introduction of landscaping that will enrich the pedestrian experience. Each unit shares a generously sized central courtyard that allows for light and ventilation to permeate throughout. This configuration ensures that each apartment enjoys north- and south-facing apertures, thus allowing a variety of luminance during the entire day.
The development’s principal south-facing façade is a screen façade clad with a customised travertine pattern and containing deep recesses and important shadow gaps that introduce a clean geometry with lines that follow on from neighbouring façade proportions within the street. Due to the façade’s exposure to the sun for long periods of time, the use of monolithic stretches of stone providing good thermal mass was important in sustaining the building’s energy efficiency. The presence of the screen nonetheless allows for the presence of well-sized openings on the receded façade that provide access to the shaded terrace space created in between the two south elevations. On the other hand, the north-facing façade of the second building is more open and transparent, whilst the travertine pattern is continued in a more subdued fashion so as to tie in with the rest of the development.
This project was shortlisted as a finalist for the Housing of the Year Award in the Kamra tal-Periti prestigious Premju Emanuele Luigi Galizia award.
photos by Ramon Portelli