Spinola Park was a unique architectural project in Malta for a number of reasons; its location, its Eco friendly stance, but primarily because of its communicative and social point of departure. The project is located in triq Mikiel Ang. Borg, just off the Spinola Piazza in the heart of St. Julians. Before any plans were drawn up the promoters of the project along with the architects approached the surrounding soon-to-be neighbours. These included; residents in Lapsi Street, the St. Julians Parish Church, the Local Council, and owners of commercial businesses and eateries close to the site.
These consultations revealed a number of things. First and foremost that there was dire need for parking spaces, especially over the weekend: which was brought up by Father Claude and Lapsi Street residents. Another point was that the ageing population of Lapsi Street found great difficulty in walking back up the hill to their residencies. Additional comments included; a need for better quality eateries on the side of Spinola, a cafe where church patrons in a convivial spirit could congregate, and additional commercial services.
Spinola Park was designed with the spirit of Malta's communal communication whereby comments and advice were taken into account and implemented. The car park of the project would serve to relieve parking in the piazza and Lapsi Street. Additionally the Church with limited parking facilities would have a direct link to the car park by means of a lift. Further residential gains included a purposely designed public lift solely serving residents of Lapsi Street who could no bypass the steep hill entirely. The promoters through the use of a PC Application also self imposed a height restriction on the project so as not to disrupt neighbouring views; and where previously Lapsi Street residents situated directly behind the project looked down on to green and vegetation, would continue to do so as Spinola Park’s roof would be a lush landscaped garden.
The Spinola Park project in Malta includes: a car park of 450 spaces, office rental space of 11,000 sqm, a supermarket of 2,500 sqm, a food court of 1,600 sqm, a retail area of 1,400 sqm and other complimentary amenities such as a fitness club, child day care and more.
Car Park: The car park includes 450 spaces and will act as a central link from the Parish Church and Lapsi Street, to the Spinola area. This social contribution is achieved through access of two public lifts from the Church and Lapsi Street. The car park has latest park assist technology which will make finding a parking spot less stressful and more efficient. New computerized systems can indicate the first available parking space upon entering the car park through a system of sensors and cameras.
Supermarket: The supermarket covers an area of approximately 2,500 sqm, and is finished in what the owners described as a ‘German Finish’; with specific spotlighting, sleek design, wide aisles and extensive line-of-sight.
Offices: The design and construction of the office space will highlight the necessity of eco-friendly planning. The offices were planned with good external insulation, in order to keep running costs as reasonable as possible. At every level the offices have a terrace surrounded by vegetation, creating private outdoor meeting spaces. The use of advancements in building design and materials will ensure lean and efficient operation which will keep common area costs to a minimum.
Retail: A small landscaped piazza accessible from Mikiel Ang Borg Street gives access to a series of shops; with some shops having their own entrance, some of which with store front visibility from Mikiel Ang Borg Street. The retail outlets in the project will meet the demand created by the offices, residents, supermarket, café and Church patrons.
Food Court: The location of the food court is on the retail floor, in close proximity to the Church public lifts. The Café will enjoy store front viability on Mikiel Ang Borg Street, and an outdoor seating area. The idea is that the Café will become a meeting place for the numerous visitors to the project and cater to the demand of the 600 office workers, supermarket visitors, shoppers and Church patrons. All patrons of the Parish Church will have direct access to the car park through use of lifts which will be added to the terrace of the Church. Similarly, Lapsi Street residents will have express access to the car park through the use of public lifts and a stairwell. Both these links require visitors to pass through the retail level, near the café.