SAN GWANN, MALTA
This was a unique plot of land located along a ridge overlooking Wied Ghomor and nestled between the historic Mensija Chapel and underlying cave. The plot stretches over 8,800 square metres and was subsequently divided into two, one of which was to become Ray DeMicoli’s family home. The cave and tennis court were kept common with the other family.
The project started off with an agreement between the two owners, and the newly formed Planning Authority at the time, to not remove a single tree from the site, with the aim of safeguarding the historic cave and existing mature trees. The volumes of the house then grew organically, through constant studies of the roots of the existing trees and moulding the form of the building around them. As a result, all spaces are flooded with natural light and overlook the lush, landscaped gardens.
Externally, the existing terraces of the land and traditional rubble walls leading up to the cave, were also retained, that in themselves created fragmented and intimate spaces around the garden. Subtle uplighting during the evening brushes the trees and stone walls with light and enhances the experience of these external spaces.
The house and land have since received protected status by ERA and was nominated for the Mies van der Rohe European Award.