Valentino Architects, a design practice based in Valletta, Malta’s Capital, has remodeled and cohesively linked a cluster of Grade I and II heritage-listed buildings together with a mill room from the 16th century to design a family home called ‘Mill House’ in the Maltese village of Attard. The layout uses an outdoor courtyard as a unifying element between the volumes, “allowing the disparate spaces to each communicate with the sun-soaked hearth of the home.”

Maltese mill converted into a family home by Valentino Architects  - Sheet1
 Entrance_© Ramon Portelli

 

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Outdoor Courtyard_© Ramon Portelli

The design envisions a unification between the former mill buildings with the addition of a “glazed walkway which curates this connection, functioning as a binding passage between the three volumes,” which overlooks the courtyard. The walkway is a reflective layer contrasting the old and the new, bold in its appearance yet concealed from the street.

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 Entry corridor_© Ramon Portelli

Stone arches rhythmically embellish the ceiling of the entry hall, which leads out into the courtyard with a swimming pool and a seating area. The living room and kitchen space are grouped in one room, connected to a separate dining room. Both areas have views of the courtyard

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Main room on the ground floor_© Ramon Portelli

The main room on the ground floor plays on grades of visibility where “tall cabinets punctuate the edge of its space, resembling minimalist boulders that at times double as doorways to tangential rooms,” the studio explains. The white walls are divided into a lower section of white panels with a clean surface. In contrast, the rough stonework above them is left exposed, adding a dynamic blend of wall textures to the relatively minimalist interior aesthetic. 

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 Kitchen_© Ramon Portelli

Opposite the entryway lies a concrete staircase that leads up to the first floor, home to three separate bedrooms. Each bedroom is located on one of the three living blocks from the 16th century, linked by the glazed walkway that opens up to the central courtyard. Speaking of the glazed walkway, the studio explains how it shifts between reflection and translucency, “In the morning, it reflects the courtyard’s yellow stone and the sights of the surrounding village, appearing as an elongated band that elbows at a single juncture.” In contrast, during nighttime, “its glazed corridor is internally lit, illuminating the pool area below and revealing movements of its inhabitants as they travel from one bedroom to another.” The first-floor interior embraces a darker tone of exposed concrete, while the bedrooms have plaster and wood finishes, and the bathrooms are adorned in white marble. 

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 Glazed walkway overlooking the interior courtyard_© Ramon Portelli

Valentino Architects’ portfolio comprises projects across multiple scales and categories, from ‘new-build architecture to retrofit, refurbishment, interiors, furniture, and product design.’ Among their body of work in Attard is an adaptation of a post-war painter’s home and studio into a modern abode for his granddaughter. The residential conversion project of the ‘Mill House’ was completed in 2022.

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 Ground floor plan_© Valentino Architects
Maltese mill converted into a family home by Valentino Architects  - Sheet8
 First  floor plan_© Valentino Architects

Reference List

[1] Astbury J. (2022). Valentino Architects converts Maltese mill into family home. [online]. Available at: https://www.dezeen.com/2022/12/29/valentino-architects-the-mill-house-malta/  [Accessed: 07 January 2023].

[2] Valentino Architects. (2022). The Mill House. [online]. Available at: https://valentinoarchitects.com/project/the-mill-house/  [Accessed: 07 January 2023].

[3] Valentino Architects. (2023). Practice. [online]. Available at: https://valentinoarchitects.com/practice/  [Accessed: 07 January 2023].

Author

A graduated BSc. in Architecture and soon-to-be master’s student, aspiring to specialize in sustainable and energy-efficient built environment. Having lived in both the Middle East and Europe has ignited travel as a passion, which she considers a valuable learning experience in the architectural profession, contributing to a spark to explore further through writing at RTF.

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