Villa Ellul in Ta’ Xbiex
One of the earliest examples of Modern architecture in Malta is Villa Ellul located at a prominent corner position in the locality of Ta’ Xbiex. It was designed in the 1930s by Salvatore Ellul, an architect for the department of public works, as his own residence. The dwelling is considered to be a pioneer of Modernism in the country as one of the first buildings to embrace this form of architectural design in Malta.
Ellul used advanced concepts for the time to create the villa’s most notable feature, the reinforced concrete cantilevered semicircular terrace that wraps around a section of the facade.
Reinforced concrete was the dominant and at times crucial material of Modern architecture. The structural integrity created through the marriage of steel and concrete to span or cantilever over large distances, or to create open spaces, was the catalyst that was needed for Modern architects to realise new and exciting visions.
Moreover, rather than applied ornamentation this allowed decoration to be created in the structure itself. This concept was well understood by the architect when designing Villa Ellul with the mixed use of sharp lines to produce delicate curves further accentuated by the smooth rendered surface. Ellul continued with this concept through the interiors with detailed design of doors, stair rails and other finishes.
The Malta Environment and Plan-ning Authority scheduled Villa Ellul as a Grade 2 building on May 8.