MaltaToday previous editions


Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 12 of 51

13 NEWS maltatoday | SUNDAY • 8 MAY 2022 Thank you... for having bought this newspaper The good news is that we're not raising the price of our newspaper We know times are still hard, but we have pledged to keep giving our readers quality news they deserve, without making you pay more for it. So thank you, for making it your MaltaToday Support your favourite newspaper with a special offer on online PDF subscriptions. Visit or scan the QR code Subscriptions can be done online on Same-day delivery at €1 for orders up to 5 newspapers per address. Subscribe from €1.15 a week Same-day print delivery from Miller Distributors mt JAMES DEBONO THE second phase of the resto- ration of Balluta Buildings will foresee the reconstruction of two small bridges on the second and third floors below the east- ern archway, which had been lost over the years. The bridges will be recon- structed using the same type of materials used in the original works. The works proposed in a plan- ning application presented by owner Justine Pergola envisages the sensitive restoration of the north-eastern half of the Balluta Building, following the restora- tion of the south-western half. The restoration plan covers three façades looking onto Bal- luta Square, Triq il-Markiż Sci- cluna and Triq il-Karmnu. The two bridges are docu- mented in photos dating back to the 1930s and are similar to bridges which are still present in below the southwest archway. The bridges will not only link the apartments on each side of the bridge but will "complete the symmetry of the façade". The works are explained in detail in a restoration method statement prepared by architect Stephen Serracino Inglott. "The intention is to conserve to original aesthetic and style, without altering any design ele- ments, except where it is com- plementary and respectful to the original design of the Balluta Buildings," the architect ex- plained. Moreover the restoration will be based on documentary evi- dence to reconstruct elements that will re-establish the sym- metry and totality of the origi- nal design, while conserving the original materials. The reconstructed bridges will be dressed with wrought-iron railings designed in the same shape as those present on the south-western building. The window overlooking the bridg- es will also be changed back to doors. Apart from the reconstruction of the two brdges the restora- tion will also see the reconstruc- tion of missing sections of elab- orate parapet walls which have been replaced by aluminium railings. The reconstruction will also be based on a comparison with old photos. The restoration report also reveals that the original roller shutters, some of which date back to the original structure have now deteriorated beyond repair. These roller shutters will be replaced with identical new ones sourced from Sicily. The restoration will include the careful removal of redun- dant cables and wires, light fix- tures, and other accretions. Layers of black crust (gyp- sum), will be carefully removed from stone surfaces on the walls and façades, using only delicate manual methods and appropri- ate hand tools, primarily scal- pels. A beacon of excellence Completed in 1928 and built on the gardens in the vicinity of the Old College, Balluta Build- ings is considered as one of the finest examples of Art Nouveau architecture in Malta. It is also the only noteworthy architec- tural manifestation of the Stile Liberty on the island. "Today, it stands out as a lu- minous beacon of architectural excellence set within an expanse of nondescript and soulless con- crete apartment blocks," archi- tect Serracino Inglott contends. The project was commissioned by Marquis John Scicluna and designed by architect Giuseppe Psaila. It now enjoys the highest level of protection as a Grade 1 monument. But over the years, the building, whose tenants benefited from the rent control regime, suffered deterioration. The restoration method state- ment also includes historical in- formation which throws a light on the inspiration behind the building and refers to a visit by Italian fascist-era art historian and critic Ugo Ojetti in 1932. During his short visit, Chev. Raffaele Pitre, the then-pres- ident of the Camera degli Ar- chitetti in Malta, accompanied Ojetti to view some of the latest and notable architectural works in Malta. Ojetti's reaction to the Balluta Buildings was that it was seemingly inspired by the second-placed entry of a com- petition for the Milan Central Railway station that was held in 1912 and won by the architect Ulisse Stacchini. Missing bridges to be rebuilt in Balluta Buildings restoration

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of MaltaToday previous editions - MALTATODAY 8 May 2022