Born on Malta in 1974, the son of a gifted carpenter, Chris Briffa completed his architecture degree at The University of Malta in 1999. For four years he then worked with architecture firm AP (Valletta) and later designed and ran Auntielucy - a design store selling high-end Italian brands and interior design services. Whilst roaming throughout Europe on EASA workshops in his student days, he furthered his studies at Virginia Tech (USA), and Politechnico di Milano (Italy); and travelled extensively throughout northern Italy before establishing his studio.
Established in 2004 in Valletta, Malta; the studio’s work has become synonymous with skilful design which moves away from stylistic mannerisms and is more concerned with proportion, materials and detail.
In a few years, their relatively extensive project types have shown an innate capability of solving puzzles; of putting details together, making them flow from line to pattern; from plain to textured surface. No detail too complex, no project too small: their projects range from original product design to the complete styling and restructuring of large industrial buildings. Recent projects also include the restoration of buildings reinterpreted to serve new purposes, such as a formerly nondescript public convenience which was turned into a haven of reds, greys and reflective surfaces which doubles up as an art exhibition space. Or a stark black box which was inserted into a would-be tunnel in the capital’s fortifications and transformed into a hip wine bar. Or better still, a haunted palazzo in a medieval town is converted into a luxury guesthouse with a unique roof-top experience.
Whether for commercial, residential, public or private purposes, their vision flawlessly merges historical buildings and new spaces with a contemporary yet multifaceted language that integrates passive-energy design concerns with simplified elegance.
While Briffa is a design tutor at the University of Malta, the studio is often involved in the organisation of lectures, workshops and exhibitions aimed at creating architectural design awareness on this historical Mediterraean Island.