'Don't demolish Marsa power station,' architects urge government

The Chamber of Architects has called on the government to halt the demolition of Marsa power station immediately and integrate parts of the building into proposed redevelopment of the site

Calling for the demolition process to be halted immediately, the chamber said that it considered the power station site to be crucial in the regeneration of the Marsa area
Calling for the demolition process to be halted immediately, the chamber said that it considered the power station site to be crucial in the regeneration of the Marsa area

The Chamber of Architects has called on the government and Enemalta to reconsider the demolition of those parts of the old Marsa power station that are considered to have “significant architectural quality and that form an important part of industrial heritage.”

Calling for the demolition process to be halted immediately, the chamber said that it considered the power station site to be crucial in the regeneration of the Marsa area, adding that no clear plan has been set out for the site once the buildings are demolished.

“There is therefore still time to integrate the existing structures within any proposed redevelopment of the site,” the Chamber said, pointing to research carried out by university students from the Faculty for the Built Environment in 2016, wherein they explored various alternatives for the regeneration of Marsa, including the Power Station site.

The Chamber echoed the Faculty’s opinion that while the demolition of the power station would clear up a tract of land that could be used to accommodate a wide range of commercial and civic uses, the value of the building itself is important as industrial and architectural heritage. It insisted that there is no reason why it cannot be preserved, and used as a spur for the redevelopment of the surrounding area.

“It is indeed disheartening that the Planning Authority has not yet undertaken a comprehensive study of our industrial areas which are rich in industrial and architectural assets that should be preserved,” the Chamber said, adding that such a study needs to be undertaken “without delay”.

The Chamber proposed a joint committee be established comprising the Planning Authority, the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage, Heritage Malta, NGOs and the Chamber of Architects in order to identify those buildings that and areas that merit preservation and sustainable regeneration.

“The necessary procedures need to be set in motion to preserve what is left of our country’s modern architectural and industrial heritage,” it said.

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