Whatever it is that constitutes the magic of a typical Maltese country house is superbly present in this paradisiacal built enclave on the edge of a busy road in Birkirkara: the balance of solid walls and elegant openings, plain blank surfaces brought alive by sculpted mouldings and the conspiracy of nature with the work of man. The patina of age serves as a foil to sensitive contemporary interventions that are gradually insinuating themselves on the stone fabric. There is the feel of an open ended worksite, stretching back centuries. The distant tinkering of workmen, setting themselves to the task of drawing these antique walls into the bright light of an ordinary day in the twenty first century, adds an uncanny sense of the smooth and uninterrupted passage of time. The owners have understood their role as guardians of this piece of heritage. They have simply added works of art and other artifacts that combine with the noble masses of building, setting off the vigorous and deep shadows of the portals and playing with the light that filters through the trees. They have provided a new palette of textures, forms and essences that enrich the sensual qualities of the work of the past. In so doing, these ancient spaces have taken on an elegantly personal touch.
PHOTOGRAPHY Jon Banthorpe
TEXT Konrad Buhagiar