Gozo Getaway

Gozo as Getaway- published in Homeworks Magazine

  • What is it about the island of Gozo that makes us want to retreat there on a weekend escape?

  • Modern day pressures tend to fuel the occasional craving to return back to essentials. For one, the pace of daily life is less urgent; this has a somewhat comforting effect providing the opportunity for reflection, relaxation, adventure and recreation.

  • The Getaway, whether a tropical far away destination or more conveniently Gozo, is the counter balance necessary to modern day existence. The island sets the scenario for a quick escape, which succeeds to encompass these activities.

  • The role architecture plays to define our experience, is crucial to enhance the environment rather than use its power to impose upon the landscape. The most stunning examples of these residences are discreet hideaways that work in union with the scale, proportion and typography of the surrounding area.

  • (Pic. 1 Pool Area) The building narrates a story; it begins by acknowledging traditional form for its use of shaded, airy spaces such as verandas and courtyards. It takes note of humidity; temperature and day/night variations, which have led to the choice of materials, and naturally ventilated layouts that gave, rise to the vernacular form. It is then brought to the present and combined with modern day comfort and practicality.

  • Simplicity of form is a key element in achieving balance and harmony. Of course everybody has their own image of what may or may not constitute their idea of escape, whether its rising at the crack of dawn for a vigorous swim or lounging till midday, this need should be catered for. The design should work to facilitate activities of your choice with a minimum of maintenance and concern. The initial stages of brainstorming to define your particular needs will pay off in terms of achieving a space that works for you rather than against you. The design process adopted should continuously support the objective to achieve a calmness of space and resist the temptation to over design.

  • Light comes in endless intensities, bright, dark, harsh, soft. Outdoors, nature helps set our mood; we can take example and recreate the orchestral mood indoors. Take into account the orientation of the sun at various times of day and use it to work to your advantage, in accordance with the function of the space. (Pic. 2 Void) The double height void creates a visual link between the living and private areas as well as promoting circulation of air and light through the use of a skylight located in between arches. (Pic.3 Stone Walling)The stone wall construction is treated to produce varying shades, emphasising upon the expressive potential of this material.

Eating Places

Increasingly cooking, preparation and eating places have become joined spaces this has made the need to maintain order a more challenging task. The utility room is a convenient method to house the dishwasher, laundry, appliances and heavy storage items. This will ensure uncluttered kitchen surfaces and reduce noise levels.

The Getaway destination provides the opportunity to re-think the dining experience. Just as the word leisure suggests the duration of meal times may be prolonged to savour the quality time that comes along with it. When planning the setting, take into consideration the role it will play, whether breakfast zone, light lunch or evening entertainment. Underline the factors that will determine your unique dining experience, A view of the garden or landscape beyond has a pleasant calming effect. The choice of seating, wide, cushioned, high backrest seats promote comfort. A low sunken table and bench seating can prove a fun alternative to traditional layouts. The use of sheer fabric in outdoor spaces can create a feeling of enclosure and privacy.

Living Places

Move away from the traditional sofa, two armchairs boxed in setting and opt for a more playful approach to encourage lounging. A combination of various items such as a chaise long, large cushions, soft carpeting and multi purpose tables add to the flexibility of the space.(Pic. 4 Indoor Pool) An indoor pool forms part of the living area combining the serene presence of water with its soothing effect.

Star Places

This refers to creating a series of special spaces that use the space to its full potential in corridors, window ledges or niches that would otherwise be ‘dead’ unused space. These spaces will invite reading, reflection or even exercise.

Design of the getaway residence will play a crucial role in setting our mood.  Unlike our surroundings at home with which we have become familiar, the weekend escape only offers a short time to be at ease within the space. This requires design clarity and an overall ability to support the concept of relaxation.