The Development of Domestic Space in the Maltese Islands from the Late Middle Ages to the Second Half of the Twentieth Century
- Thursday 30 June 2016
- Academy Building
2311 GJ Leiden
This thesis traces and analyses the evolution of domestic space in Maltese vernacular and ‘polite’ houses from the medieval to contemporary times. The houses under study range from humble buildings of modest size, materials and design, like farmhouses or those for the less affluent town-dwellers, to buildings of grand design, like townhouses and palazzi. Owing to the complex nature of the Maltese houses a combination of enquires and a variety of sources was necessary to achieve a holistic picture. This included fieldwork in different parts of the islands, extensive research work in local archives, libraries and museums, an analysis of a sample of literary sources, national censuses and works-of-art, as well as methods of spatial analysis (Space Syntax).
One of the major achievements obtained in this thesis concerns the development of the native dwelling. Our field surveys and archival research have demonstrated that the evolution of the native dwelling was very much influenced by the political, social and economic changes that occurred locally during the period under review. In particular, it was observed that architectural and stylistic changes in the elite houses occurred at a faster rate to suit fashion, in line with what occurred in other European countries, while changes in peasant houses were slower and more sporadic as these adhered to their vernacular idiom for a longer time.
- Prof. J. Bintliff
- Dr. J.J. Stöger
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Inès van Arkel, Scientific Communications Adviser, Leiden University
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