Valletta Penthouse - Valletta, Malta
Valletta Penthouse is a duplex apartment on top of an historic building located in the heart of Malta's capital, Valletta, which is renown to be an important Unesco World Heritage Site.
The scope of the project was to entirely remodel both levels to achieve a new functional layout with clean and essential spaces. The preexisting floor plan was organized with a central dark corridor and small rooms on both sides. The size of the original rooms was limited by the older construction methods and materials, with perimeter and interior walls built out of solid blocks of local maltese stone.
The key feature of the new layout is a rectangular open-space with two floating partitions, cladded in lacquered panels, that separate the entrance and the circulation from the living area. The larger partition contains the entry wardrobe, the audio and video systems, a wine cooler and storage cabinets, while the smaller one hides the elevator to access the rooftop level. From the open-space, frameless glass doors bring to the kitchen on one side and to the two bedrooms and master suite on the other side. The two smaller bedrooms share a bathroom that looks into the interior court, while the master bedroom has an en-suite bathroom and walk-in closet.
Since the stone building was not insulated, an interior lining was added on the entire perimeter of the penthouse, to bring comfort in each season while operating efficiently the concealed ventilation units.
The white plaster of walls and ceilings, combined with the white lacquered cladding of the millwork, is balanced with the warmth of the maple used for the floor planks, for the window frames and shutters, and for a few millwork details in each space. The deep window frames are lit with warm led lighting to achieve a lantern effect after sunset, when the artificial light filters through the shutters' fins and surrounds each space of the unit. Indirect lighting comes from ceiling coves and millwork, integrated with accent lighting where needed. All millwork, including the kitchen, is custom designed and it's mostly built with lacquered mdf.