The spirit of an artist rises again in a Malta house

Valentino Architects transforms a space designed by artist Frank Portelli – a central figure in Malta’s post-World War II art scene – into a bright, contemporary home.

Known for his paintings and murals, artist Frank Portelli (1923-2004) also built a Post Modern style house for himself in Attard, Malta: a residence that has been renovated in recent months by Valentino Architects. Working with such an intense and characterful heritage is not easy, but the studio was able to reconvert the space into a house that meets contemporary needs. The residence is developed along the north-south axis and is characterised by large skylights inclined at 45° that allow natural light to flood the rooms. The spaces are large and undivided, and only at the north end of the residence do we find a more private area, separated by a sliding door, with a bedroom, bathroom and storage room.

The mid-century and self-made furniture has been integrated into the overall interior design. The architects have shown great sensitivity in maintaining certain characterising elements and interpreting the original geometric matrices, which echo Portelli's work. Every detail is therefore studied so as not to betray the artist's idea. The end result is an intervention that tries to solve the main problem, too much natural light, but preserves the previous owner's vibrant idea of modernity.

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