Hanging Home Design by Chris Briffa Architects


Chris Briffa Architects have made the Hanging Home in Naxxar, Malta.

A several ages ago, Richard England’s celebrated ‘Villa la Maltija’ and its encompassing gardens in San Pawl tat-Targa (Malta) have been demolished to build way for semi-detached villas. Permission was granted to make the designers to divide the estate into parcels of land with an common division of 300 rectangular metres every.

The future 6 many years previewed a busy structure landscape with the 30 or so buildings – just about every by just one further proprietor hiring a new architect – all intended and built at virtually a equivalent time; however all quite distinct from your other person.

A type of microcosm of local middle-class architectural tastes, the neighborhood varies in style; from traditional to contemporary to nondescript. One on the lots was entrusted to Chris Briffa Architects, who developed and lately concluded this sculptural white cube with apparently hardly any apertures, hanging about a narrow but gripping side-back back garden.


The consumers – a loved ones of some – required to capitalize on their humble 250 rectangle meters of land. While zoning polices granted only 40% web site coverage, they shown the architect using a really demanding brief: an open up strategy existing spot, another cuisine place, two significant bedrooms with bathrooms, an impartial household-business office, a study, a three-car garage, a swimming share, equally as significantly garden as you possibly can and an spot to get pleasure from their daughter’s piano participating in.

After numerous hours of design and style and style deciding and meetings, Briffa proposed cantilevering nearly half of your residence covering the swimming swimming pool place, to be able to liberate much more place inside garden, though nonetheless decreasing within planning regulations. A scale type illustrated the proposal’s use of room, using a skillful juxtaposition of exterior and internal spaces, plus the consumers agreed towards design.

The structure as well as satisfied their brief, but additionally provided a generous outdoors area compared even though using the small side-terraces of comparable encircling properties. The customers transferred in towards the conclude of 2011, soon after a saga of let delays, engineering hiccups and bespoke inside finishing.


From the road, a rock staircase bridges for several underlying top garden and invites us beneath the sheltering white mass. High louvered doors, just like traditional Maltese ‘persjani’, be a catalyst for the inside. Essentially two opposing openings and also a staircase, the entry hall is stream-lined but motivating: an unassuming composition of horizontal strains of a glass, iron, timber and marble.

One starting is really a doorway on the living area, while additional a narrow window towards outside; catching a glimpse of normal water from your pool beneath. The hall extends upwards against a lighting steel staircase, sandwiched between an eight-metre-high space definitely lit from previous.

The usally living area – a double-height volume linked to some reduced one – accommodates the piano salon (with enhanced acoustics thanks to its high ceiling), the sitting room, concealed stairs on the garage plus the sun-drenched kitchen/breakfast area. The eating room and guest WC are every hidden regarding a composition of oak doors and safe-keeping cabinets, which also hides the vertical expert services and chilling technique.


The eating room extends towards the garden which has a cantilevered concrete floor slab enclosed by three glass walls; hovering preceeding the clear end with the pool surrounded by south-facing olive woods. This perimeter garden – with its twelve-meter long pool, olive bushes and out of doors eating area – enjoys privateness on the street thanks to an elevated, semi-basement room which residences the home office.

Perhaps essentially the most interesting (as well as the architect’s favorite) internal space, this peculiar home-office is partly underground, sharing a wall while using pool while wanting to as much as the olive trees along with the cantilevered dining slab.

Water reflections within the pool dancing on its inclined ceiling inside the early the the summer time several weeks months. The inspiring home headquarters enjoys another access on the street and additional light and air flow belonging to the front lawn of your residence hold hold.


Upstairs, the principle sleeping quarters suite is totally cantilevered for several full time-span of your home. A development of private secrecy levels, it is made of your linear arrangement of terrace, sitting area, walk-in wardrobe, restroom and bedroom; with a minimal quality window strictly curbing privacy and reflected natural light.

With a low-energy, water-based under-floor heating system keeping home warm in winter, the architects’ principal concern was to remain the constructing cold within the summer months. Every simple room enjoys cross-ventilation from opposing windows, and the south-facing dining area will become a terrace when the huge doors are opened.

The key ‘lung’ from your residence – the space above the primary staircase – acts being a chilling tower in summer, channeling the heat up on the leading parts while scooping the cool, prevailing summer breezes from the uppermost clearstory windows.


Architects: Chris Briffa Architects

Photographs: David Pisani

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