Maltese architectural firm wins European prize for Macina hotel design

Edwin Mintoff Architects was awarded the European Prix Versailles UNESCO World Architecture and Design Award for the Cugó Gran Macina in Isla

Veteran architect Edwin Mintoff stands in front of the restored Macina in Isla, a project that won his firm a prestigious European architectural award
Veteran architect Edwin Mintoff stands in front of the restored Macina in Isla, a project that won his firm a prestigious European architectural award

Edwin Mintoff’s architectural studio carried the Prix Versailles for its design of the Cugo Gran Macina hotel in Isla, and will represent Europe in the World Finale next September.

The award was given in association with UNESCO and the International Union of Architects.

The Maltese firm was awarded in the category of Exterior Hotel Design and winners are rewarded for their extraordinary architecture and design.

Edwin Mintoff Architects will now compete for the World Title against projects from the other five continents.

The final will be held at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris in September.

The firm was awarded the Din l-Art Helwa prize for ‘The Rehabilitation and Re-Use of Buildings’ and the Malta Architect Award in ‘Hospitality, Tourism Accommodation and Leisure’ for this project.

The Cugó Gran Macina in Isla forms part of the luxury Cugo Gran sub brand of international IBB Hotel Collection, with 13 hotels in Germany, Spain, Poland and Malta.

The Macina has been transformed into a five-star hotel
The Macina has been transformed into a five-star hotel

The structure which is known as Macina forms part of St Michael’s bastion and was a critical part of the city of Senglea’s landward defence.

The shear bastion derives its name from its use, a mechanism for ship mast fitting, known as a ‘macchina’, which was active from the early 17th century.

Through Edwin Mintoff Architects’ design, the structure has now been restored with new purpose, to serve the Senglea area in a different way.

The historic structure now consists of a guesthouse with ancillary facilities which include a pool, bar, restaurant and cafeteria and a future spa, serving to aid in the urban regeneration of the Three Cities, increasing employment, tourism and cultural activities within the area.

The hotel was opened last year.

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