Apartments at Nadur

Date : 2009
Site Area : 310m²

view from site

Located within the development zone of Nadur - a village on the eastern part of Gozo - the site in question was flanked by a vacant plot and residential development. The boundary of the urban conservation area as designated by the local planning regulator halted at the other side of the street. Architectural buildings worth noting, and which were visible from the site, were the parish church and a ruin which was being integrated into a contemporary dwelling. Both were located within the urban conservation area. The virtual line that distinguishes such area offers a design challenge where the village's traditional building fabric meets contemporary design, planning and construction techniques.

plans elevation

It was such a site's particular location on the village's fringe that provoked conceptual thinking in creating an architecture that respects both contemporary aesthetic values and traditional building physics. The Mediterranean climate demands a sustainable solution which minimizes heat gain, while local traditional architecture suggests the use of passive shading devices and natural ventilation.

The proportions of the plot and sanitary legislation restricted the design, due to the plot having considerable depth but a narrow facade. This influenced the design concept in locating an adequately sized internal courtyard which, while ensuring the provision of natural ventilation and daylight, also maintained the application of traditional design solutions. The courtyard was the hub of this architectural project; the hub from which the design concept stemmed. The planning layout was designed around this open space, having the semi-public living areas located in immediate proximity whilst the more intimate spaces being located further away from this space. A water feature adjacent to the bedrooms stimulated relaxation, whilst the use of low shrubs maintained a relaxed ambience.

aerial view

The materials used consisted mainly of local globigerina limestone block work, timber, reinforced concrete and steel profiles. The former two were a direct reference to Gozo's cultural heritage while the latter was a modern age product. The mix between the materials takes place on a number of levels, from construction to finish, creating a rich blend of craftsmanship and machine production.