Responsible Architecture

Zero-Energy Living

Naxxar, Malta
2015 - 2021

This zero-energy semi-detached dwelling maximises its limited footprint in an efficient manner while offering an important contribution to the streetscape in its role as a corner property. Central to this property is a solar chimney, designed off a central courtyard and spanning three storeys which heats up air at the top through the glazed skylight, pulling the cooler air at basement level through the building and cooling the spaces at semi-basement and ground floor levels naturally. The solar chimney doubles up as a lightwell, providing a shaft of diffused light down to basement level. Glazed surfaces, skylights and dramatic portals exploit the natural light to its fullest, such as a 6-metre-long picture window in the west-facing kitchen which takes advantage of the stunning sunset views. The home achieves a balanced use of marble, concrete, perforated steel, and natural wood. The potential for entertainment is acquired with an outdoor terrace that is accessible from the main living/dining space and leads to a pool deck enveloping a 10-metre-long lap pool. Externally, vertical rhythm is created while playing with light and shadow, carefully positioning and proportioning its apertures to exploit natural daylight while minimising unnecessary heat gains.

This project was awarded with the BIG SEE Architecture Winner Award 2024 in the category Residential-Houses.

Photos by Sean Mallia