Berta, Gharghur, Malta
From the Architects:
Located in the heart of Gharghur, BERTA has a long history of bringing people together. From just after World War 2 up until just a few years ago, it acted as a tea room in the heart of this small village. BERTA was conceived as a continuation of this tradition, representing life in its simplest form, the bond between people, and the ability to appreciate every moment. The project is the personified feeling of being with somebody you know, who you look for when seeking comfort.
Through the representation of simple village life in the Mediterranean, the simplicity and character of BERTA can start to emerge. It is reflected in the combination of different functions in the same place, creating one monolithic volume which is connected and allows the project to feel like one cohesive whole. The different elements of the interior – the bar, the bakery, the coffee – are designed in harmony with each other, providing a feeling of comfort to the users experiencing the space.
This harmony is achieved through simple forms, using light tones which provide an airy and fresh atmosphere. The vein cut travertine marble used for the floor and counter, the earth tone lime base plaster applied to the backdrop of the bar, and the oak timber structure and furniture present in the space contrast the rough textured limestone that showcases the age of the space itself. As a result, a tension is formed between the warm tones of the material and the sharp but sensitive geometric lines, which in conjunction with each other create a dynamic yet calm interior.
BERTA provides an atmosphere of being, and staying at ease – special but discreet, elegant in its bare essence.