Würth Malta needed a new site for its offices, shop and warehousing. The main requirements in the brief were : to provide parking for staff and visitors; to provide a pick-up shop concept with clients encouraged to browse through the shelves of solid looking German products for home improvement items. An architectural site was identified in Zebbug with ideal transport connections and with access roads on either end which provided an ideal solution to provide visitor parking in front with staff and unloading facilities at the rear. The building was designed by DeMicoli & Associates' architects with two double height warehouses linked by an efficient system of ramps and passages. Würth Malta's two warehouses could cater for adequate distribution of goods with all loading and unloading happening inside the building and therefore not inconveniencing the neighbours or traffic flow.
The Malta pick up shop is designed with an open intermediate floor linked by a steel and glass open staircase which allows lots of light to enter into the spaces. Würth have also ventured into the solar division and the use of solar panels on the facade and on the roof gives evidence of their reliability. Even functioning underfloor heating in the pick up shop is partly exposed to show clients how it is constructed.
The various office spaces which Würth Malta had located in a number of individual buildings were amalgamated into one open plan area, together with spaces available for seminar uses and demonstration of their equipment.
Würth Malta’s plan for a new store and office building will pay homage to the sun. The façade appropriately features solar panels and is designed to include a double height space for commercial business. A walk-in solar calendar is to be placed at the entrance so that visitors may experience the quantified solar reader while making their way to the reception area.
The solar calendar itself will be created with laminated structural timber, a benign environmental material. It is the only engineered wood with flexibility enough to create the necessary curves of the calendar, offering full design feasibility. The design and feature of laminated wood give off a welcoming sense of warmth – it was finished in clad steel and aluminium as a contrasting clean look.
Design iterations were based on studies made through a scale model of sun paths as the solar calendar has a timeline with dates relevant to the Würth Group. The calendar has light sensitive diodes imbedded into the system. The dome will have a single hole at the top where light will enter and specific diodes will be triggered by the sunbeam, marking Würth’s important dates.
Construction took 11 months to complete ahead of the scheduled 12 months and was finished and serviced by contractors who are clients of Würth Malta.