20.05.2023 - 26.11.2023
Sea, Sails & Walls
After the fall of Rhodes in 1522, Charles V of Spain (King of Sicily) gave the tutelage of Malta and Gozo to the Knights Hospitallers of The Order of St John, for the token sum of a falcon, hence where ‘Maltese Falcon’ came from. The Knights have adorned the city of Valletta with the most beautiful Walls, hailed today as Unesco World Heritage Site.
The Sea is omnipresent, and sinks deep into the nation’s DNA. It brings beauty as well as danger, opportunities as well as tragedies.
The wonderful tapestry of the island is woven by cosmopolitan sea-farers from different countries. When the winds were favourable, the rowers were relieved when the ships hoisted the Sails. These primitive woven fabrics were the most important element that enabled widespread travel, trading and conquests.
Design of buildings are graced by the presence of the sea. Our exhibition embodies a combination of low-lying and high-rise structures, both by the coast and inland, to express themes of time, space and existence, depicting transformation, dynamism and adaptation to the natural elements around us over the ages.
House of Four Winds
From its humble beginnings as a military barrack, the House of Four Winds has always been sought-after because of it’s unique vantage point high above the majestic bastion walls of Valletta.
The new building, its surroundings and its interior spaces merge seamlessly into one, exhibiting an overall sense of uniformity and balance. The result is a building which sits in respect of the bastions, paying homage to local tradition yet completely embracing innovation. The palette of internal finishes further bridges the traditional to the future.
Both ‘the Laguna’ as well as the Tipico building, form part of the Portomaso complex. In 1986, Tumas Group had acquired Hilton hotel and extensive grounds comprising 147,000 sm.
The client’s brief was to incorporate the Hilton Hotel 5 star, a conference hall, apartments, parking, office building plus bars, restaurants and retail. Architect Ray DeMicoli was in charge of the architectural design. His idea of introducing the Marina at the heart of the project was a game-changer. Not only did the project gain 5 additional levels of inventory, but the south side double loaded wing of the Hilton hotel also enjoys sea views.
The project commenced onsite in 1995 and the Hilton hotel opened in 2000. Over the years, there were several additions to the project.
‘The Laguna’ at Portomaso
Whilst swimming under a bridge deck of a catamaran, one wonders how come there aren’t more houses built partially over swimming pools. This is the concept the designer wanted the user to experience.
The site area is approximately 8,000 sm, however there were several horizontal planes of restraint – The tide, the historical entrenchment wall, sea defense wall, and the fifth elevation, the roof requiring extensive landscaping as viewed from above.
Tipico Building was one of the most interesting and challenging projects to date. The sail-shaped frame is the architectural statement of the building.
The project involved the redevelopment of a site adjacent to the iconic Portomaso Tower. The architectural massing concept was to create a soft counterpoint to the Tower, a wedge-like footprint which would terrace back as it rose.
The building has won several awards and mentions. It was also published in several structural and architectural magazines.