Our intervention at 211, Republic Street takes into consideration the found building’s storied past.
As Xmun Borg’s Bakery and Confectionery, the compact outlet was well known for its confectionary creations, and came equipped with a wood fired oven. More recently, the outlet was repurposed as a jazz bar and live music venue. Drawing from this history we sought to temper the industrial aesthetic of the modern eatery with softer, looser lines befitting the former confectionary and music hall. This relationship informed practically every decision taken during the design stage. At its most explicit, this is seen in the restoration of the façade’s scheduled sign, and the playful typographic mural adorning a prominent interior wall. More subtle is the use of distinctly contemporary colours created especially for the traditional Maltese floor tiles used in the main dining room.
This dining room was to become the culmination of every patron’s visit to the restaurant and yet, the access to it was an awkward passageway tucked underneath the original masonry staircase. To address this, a custom furniture piece moulded out of arching timber sections, made this access a highlight of the restaurant interior, whilst simultaneously contrasting a contemporary interpretation of the arch to the traditional masonry arches spanning the dining area.
Brian Grech Studio