Squares House

A continuous design aesthetic to promote privacy and beauty.

Site area: 550 m2

Project Year: 2019 – 2022

Location: Birkirkara, Malta

#residentialdesign #semidetached #Ibragg

Designing a family home deserves its own special approach. You have to consider the people you’re designing for, how they already use the space if they lived in it beforehand and how they would like to spend their time at home in the future.

This existing 1970s styled semi-detached corner building had a lot of potential but needed upgrading to bring it up to modern standards. We focused on three concepts in our design proposal. The first was to find a way to sensitively design the building with the required extension, without a major overhaul which would have been too costly. The second was making sure the interior and exterior space could be used comfortably by the family both during the day and the night. The third was ensuring the family had maximum privacy, even if the outside spaces were facing the road.

For this project we wanted to look at cost-effective modifications we could make to the existing structure, that could still meet our client’s brief and wouldn’t be too expensive. Incorporating squares into our design allowed us to play with openings for ventilation, views and privacy. They helped us create a layered effect, squares within squares, within squares. The inner home was surrounded by private open spaces through cleverly positioned openings. The design we sketched was both contemporary and very functional.

Each side of the building had its own square concept. One was a square balcony with square openings. The other was a grid effect of smaller squares that allowed natural ventilation and views but was also very private, achieved by dotting it with plentiful green foliage. In the centre of this, another large square window to maximise as much light as possible into the main building. This was situated directly above the entrance stairway. Towards the back of the house a final balcony installation overlooked a private pool area that could be accessed from the ground floor.

We used natural materials and landscaping in our proposals to counteract the hard lines of our square designs. Whitewashed walls and wood panelled fencing which we then continued into the decking of the pool area and all around the house, gave the home a resort like feel. High plants on the ground floor entrance continued this concept of privacy and a connection with nature.

The client was very particular about keeping an old tree inside of our proposal. Situated towards the front of the property it gave the house an almost tree-house feel, exactly the kind of place a family with children would love to return to after a day at school, work or shopping.

The perfect place for a family to create special memories in, with high resale value should they ever wish to move on. In our client’s own words ‘Although I was afraid at first, I must say I was wrong. It turned out beautifully.’

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