The summer pavilion responds to its hill-top, private garden setting, providing familial pool-side facilities. Raised slightly above the pool, the north facing dining and barbeque space opens to the Maltese landscape below and the Mediterranean beyond.
In response to the requirements of the owners of this traditional rural Maltese property in the North of the island, the brief specifically called for the reorganisation of the then existing pool-side facilities, not solely to encourage their use by the family on a more regular basis, but also to enhance their role when the gardens are geared for entertaining.
The project was scheduled to be undertaken in two distinct stages. The first concentrated on the pool which had almost carelessly originally been positioned at a remote end of the garden. The interventions sought to integrate it into the surrounding landscape. The second phase was tackled one year later. It dealt with the creation of new pool-side facilities to replace (though for planning reasons, not to enlarge) the available rooms constructed to the south of the pool.
The lawn and the trees at first stopped short of the pool, hesitant and wary of this intrusive body of water. The gentle curve of the existing path was therefore extended to embrace the pool and develop the sense of the pool as a pond at the bottom of the garden. The lawn was drawn right in to the water’s edge and the colour of the water was darkened. A raised deck was constructed to one side, seemingly blocking the flow of water down the hillside, beyond the garden limits and the greenery was wrapped around the pool’s perimeter.
Conceived as a monolith rising out of the surrounding terrain, the pavilion itself sits on a raised deck, on the curve of the path leading from the house. Designed primarily as a covered external space for summer living, the main volume of the pavilion is aligned with the pool and the original garden terraces, but oriented towards the views beyond. A finger of roof extends perpendicular to this covered outdoor dining space into the lush greenery of the surrounding garden. The extension becomes an enclosed space whose opening glazed screens protect the living/kitchen from the occasional strong winds. Electrically controlled semi-translucent proprietary blinds provide privacy when desired and shelter from the intense summer sun, while retaining visual continuity between the interior and the surrounding landscape.
The project cost €240,000 to build. The pavilion is built of a simple steel supporting frame anchored at the extremities into reinforced concrete blocks which conceal the services rooms and provide additional shade. Clad entirely in hardstone slabs, identical to those used in the floors, the detailing is purposely minimal throughout, allowing the surrounding garden, its greenery, the views and the refreshing breezes to absorb the thoughts and senses of the occupants, so that they may fully participate in the ceremony of the day and the spectacle of the setting.
Alberto Miceli-Farrugia & Majka Mikulska at Architecture Project
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