Completed in May 2015, this 400 square-metre Dar Tal-Providenza complex courtyard links residential blocks...
Project: Dar Tal-Providenza, Entrance Courtyard Design Team: Anthony Galea, Monica Audrey Galea, Justin Coppini, Dawn Fearne, Sean Mayl, Zoe Mizzi Collaborators: Camilleri & Cuschieri Consulting Engineers Size: 400m² | Location: Siġġiewi, Malta Photography: David Pisani, Monica Audrey Galea, Martin Micallef Completion Date: May 2015
therapy units, a chapel and the main hall. The project is currently one of the shortlisted entries in the Lighting Category of the international World Interiors News Awards. Designer Monica Audrey Galea takes VAMP through the design process.
The design proposal addresses the client’s brief in several ways: It links the various spaces together, providing shelter from the elements, while allowing for light and natural ventilation into the rooms directly adjoining this outdoor corridor. It is a flexible space that celebrates the human scale and can undergo transformation when required, while remaining accessible at all times. The architectural screen also acts as a vibrant backdrop to the various activities that take place in the courtyard, creating a new identity for this organisation.
The space is approached along its main axis via a dark passageway.
The strength of the natural light available in the courtyard, its dramatic variation throughout the course of the day comment and its interaction with the building planes and volumes has been explored.
Inspired by the biblical narrative of the burning bush that is closely linked to the origins of Dar Tal-Providenza, the design proposes a colourful installation of 120 vertical metal fins.
As twilight descends upon the courtyard, the daytime activities cease and the architectural lighting subtly transforms the area into a space for recollection and meditation.
The fins connect, screen and redefine the spaces, forming a semi-private outdoor corridor between the buildings and the central open space. They are expressed in bold, bright red and orange colours that gradually transform into more muted yellow tones, creating a linear rhythm and imparting a joyous feeling to the space. This energetic rhythm generates a dynamic flow that culminates in the white volume of the cross marking the entrance to the chapel, which is both the physical and the spiritual centre of the space.
As twilight descends upon the courtyard, the daytime activities cease and the architectural lighting subtly transforms the area into a space for recollection and meditation: a casual invitation to pause and unwind. As darkness falls, this concept reaches its full expression as six-metre high ‘flames’ define an enclosure of pure light and unrestrained colour, reaffirming the divine presence. This instantly creates an engaging emotional bond with the user, an event that leaves its mark on all who experience the space.
Dar Tal-Providenza is a church-run organisation that offers residential services to persons with disability. Located in Siggiewi, Malta, it was founded with the aim of providing a dignified family environment for its residents. It is run almost exclusively by volunteers and is mainly funded through charity events.