June 10, 2023


Creative living

Mizzi Studio uses pink and emerald green for Barbajean restaurant in Malta

3 min read

Design practice Mizzi Studio paired pink terrazzo with emerald-green velvet and timber to form the bold interior of restaurant Barbajean in Malta.

a dining room table: Green-velvet seating features in Malta's Barbajean restaurant

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Green-velvet seating features in Malta’s Barbajean restaurant

Serving a menu of modern Meditteranean dishes, Barbajean occupies a prominent corner property in the village of Dingli.

The quiet village sits at the highest point of Malta, and has uninterrupted views out across the ocean towards the uninhabited isle of Filfla.

a store in a brick building: Barbajean has a pink and green facade

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Barbajean has a pink and green facade

Mizzi Studio‘s founder, Jonathan Mizzi – who is from Maltese – designed the restaurant so that it pays tribute to Dingli and its scenic landscape, but also “injects [the village] with new life”.

“Working within the village’s particular urban fabric was a key inspiration for us,” said Mizzi.”We wanted to create a restaurant that would stand at the core of a quintessential Maltese village experience.”

a chair sitting in front of a building: Three arches punctuate the restaurant's terrazzo-lined bar

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Three arches punctuate the restaurant’s terrazzo-lined bar

The baby-pink facade of Barbajean has been made to include architraves and coloured doors– two elements that Mizzi says can be seen on the exterior of a typical Maltese home.

Emerald-green timber doors have been built into the facade’s trio square openings. Each opening is surrounded by a chunky pink-terrazzo architrave, created by Maltese surface manufacturer Halmann Vella.

a dining room table: Malta-themed artwork has been mounted on Barbajean's walls

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Malta-themed artwork has been mounted on Barbajean’s walls

The pink and green colour scheme continues inside the restaurant. Rose-coloured terrazzo lines the wall behind the drinks bar, which has been punctuated with three arched niches.

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Liquor bottles and glassware are displayed inside the niches, illuminated by neon-pink strip lights that have been installed overhead.

Rosy terrazzo has also been used to craft the surfacetop of the bar counter, the base of which is made from fluted timber that’s been stained green. Just in front is a row of pink high chairs with tubular brass frames.

a bedroom with a bed and a chair in a room: Dining chairs are accompanied by pink-terrazzo tables

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Dining chairs are accompanied by pink-terrazzo tables

A lengthy seating banquette upholstered in emerald velvet winds its way around the opposite side of the room, accompanied by pink terrazzo tables inlaid with flecks of Guatemala Verde marble.

Directly above are a series of prints by Maltese illustrator Ed Dingli, which depict quotidian scenes of life in the village.

In between the prints are custom-made light fixtures designed by Mizzi Studio, which feature curling brass stems and spherical bulbs.

Surfaces in this area of the restaurant are painted a pale mint shade, but another dining nook that lies towards the rear of the plan has been given a cosier feel with dark-green walls and wooden floorboards.

a glass door: Towards the back of the restaurant is another dining nook

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Towards the back of the restaurant is another dining nook

Mizzi Studio was established in 2011 and has offices in both London and Valletta, the capital of Malta. Barbajean isn’t the only hospitality space that the studio has designed – last year it completed works on The Serpentine Coffee House in London’s Hyde Park.

The venue boasts glass walls and a gold, undulating roof that’s meant to resemble the shape of a stingray.

Photography is by Brian Grech.

Project credits:

Stonework: Halman Vella

Brass fabrication: Anvil and Forge

Joinery and upholstery: Construct Furniture

Custom print artwork: Ed Dingli

Branding: Steves and Co

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