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One Dingli Restaurant Is Reviving Maltese Heritage Through Impeccable Design

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One restaurant in Malta is taking the best of local heritage and modern aesthetics to create a one-of-kind culinary experience.

Mizzi Studio, the firm behind the Malta Bus Reborn project which reimagined the traditional Maltese buses into an electric bus fleet, is the brains behind the new design of Ħad-Dingli’s new eatery, Barbajean.

 

Dingli remains one of Malta’s most beloved and scenic localities, combining uninterrupted sea views across the Mediterranean Sea and Filfa that truly represents the calm-paced, traditional Maltese lifestyle.

Taking cues from the traditional elements of the village itself, the team uses typical Maltese architecture to tell a modern story. That includes the typical Maltese faċċata and its coloured timber doors; an antiporta; parapet steps; and of course the mid-century terrazzo tile.

 

 

And with the help of local designer Ed Dingli, it’s clear that Barbajean celebrates the joy and tradition of eating and drinking in a typical Maltese village.

“Working within the village’s particular urban fabric was a key inspiration for us. We are very passionate about revitalising our local heritage in a way that works harmoniously with the functionality of the project.”

“With the Malta Bus project, we reimagined a traditional Maltese bus design that was based on the unique characteristics of the iconic bus fleet. Similarly, here we created a statement corner landmark that respects its surroundings and pays tribute to Ħad-Dingli’s village identity” Jonathan Mizzi, director at Mizzi Studio, said.

Mizzi Studio’s signature holistic design approach effectively captured and balanced the long-standing village traditional aspects of Ħad-Dingli.Using traditional features and taking inspiration from European Art-Deco bistros, Barbajean’s look is breathing life into a modern Maltese identity.

“As a studio, we are deeply influenced by nature and how architecture can live in harmony with natural surroundings,” added Jonathan Mizzi “we envisioned Barbajean as a pitstop or end destination that might weave into long walks within the region’s beautiful landscape.”

“We wanted to create a restaurant that would stand at the core of a quintessential Maltese village experience, one that would allow people to stop and reflect on the beauty of the natural surroundings and nearby cliffs.”

“This project allowed us to create a new and distinctive design language. We wanted to create something that wholly represented this particular place and its identity – its site, its management, and its overall spirit,” he continued.

Interior photos: Brian Grech

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