A Maltese Townhouse With a Cave-Like Interior


maltese townhouse

Walking down any Maltese townhouse or Gozo, you will see rows of townhouses. These traditional homes illustrate classical Maltese design that was influenced slightly by the British early in the nineteenth century. They are small, with only two or three floors and a basement if included, but are solid and sturdy structures that have survived over the centuries. The government actively encourages the rehabilitation of these old houses by offering lower stamp duty rates for property that is in an Urban Conservation Area.

Maltese Townhouse Charm: Your Guide to Authentic Living

The interior of a Maltese townhouse may feature patterned tiles, stone slab flooring and rooms with vaulted ceilings or the traditional closed balconies. They also usually have a winding staircase and central courtyard layout. But perhaps the most recognizable features of these dwellings are their doors and their Maiolica plaques, which display the name of the family that once lived there. Photographer Jean-Paul Borg never tires of capturing these traditional elements in his photographs of Maltese townshouses, which he shares on his Facebook page Kappa Vision.

In a modern twist on these historic structures, architects at 3DM Architecture designed this remarkable cave-like house that is carved into the terrace of a row of Maltese townhouses in Rabat, Malta. Known as Twentyfour, the residence shows how architectural design can harmonise the past and future, traditional and contemporary. The design splices vernacular forms with austere neo-minimalism, garnished with a few post-modern design touches. For more on how these architects fused heritage with the present, you can read our article about their latest project in Gozo’s Xewkija.

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