Creating a co-working space

Martina Fenech Adami is thrilled to share the transformation of Balluta’s Muddy Waters bar into a vibrant co-working space and how the stars aligned to make it happen.
The transformation of a bar into a welcoming co-working space

Interior designer Martina Fenech Adami’s vision for a co-working space was shaped by a series of significant events that influenced her journey in recent years: from taking ownership of the former Muddy Waters bar in Balluta, to establishing her own design company, NICHE.studio, and even the unprecedented impact of the pandemic.

“While revisiting the topic of COVID-19 may not be the most pleasant, it undeniably played a pivotal role in bringing Niche to life,” Fenech Adami admits. It disrupted traditional paradigms of work, challenging the status quo of office environments and redefining perceptions of the conventional nine-to-five routine.

“The notion of assigned desks, with our names on them, was shaken to its core,” the interior designer recalls.

Amid this disruption, however, a new era emerged – one filled with opportunities for freelancers, creatives, digital nomads and co-working spaces. These elements became intrinsically linked, shaping the future of work and fostering environments where collaboration and flexibility thrive.

“Recognisng this transformative shift, I saw the potential of creating a co-working space from the renowned Muddy Waters bar. It became clear that this property could serve as a showcase for my work; a place for me to work personally, and a hub to bring together a networked community.”

The design process began with a crucial parameter in mind: the space, essentially a large garage, had only one source of natural light. With this in mind, the layout was planned to create a central tunnel, allowing the natural light to illuminate the space and facilitate circulation.

Along the sides of the room, various breakout areas were carefully designed to provide cosy corners for individuals to find their ideal working environment.

“I was inspired to blend the concept of a home away from home, with the ambiance of a coffee house, creating a social and welcoming atmosphere,” Fenech Adami continues.

To bring this vision to life, meticulous attention was given to every detail, from the spatial geometry, which includes a bespoke sofa area and bar, to the selection of materials.

These were thoughtfully chosen to create a “cosy, yet inspiring” environment. The use of woods, fabrics and vibrant textures brought this vision to fruition.

The space was divided into different blocks of colour and texture, adding “intrigue” through the varying volumes within the tunnel-like structure, and defining areas for different purposes.

“As the client of my own co-working space, I also took the opportunity to showcase my best work,“ Fenech Adami said. Countless hours were dedicated to detailing each bespoke piece found within the space and a rigorous selection process was undertaken to curate the materials and furnishings seen throughout.

The transformation of a bar into a welcoming co-working space is not only a physical manifestation of Fenech Adami’s work, but also a reflection of her dedication to creating an environment that fosters collaboration, inspiration and personal growth.

Related Posts