Naxxar nine-storey block touted as solution to ‘over-exposed’ streetscape

The proponents of a nine-storey block in the Naxxar Trade Fair parking area claim their project provides “enclosure” for an “over-exposed” streetscape

Developers who want to build a nine-storey apartment block on the former Naxxar Trade Fair grounds’ car park, say their project will give ‘closure’ to a streetscape they said is over-exposed by the car park.

The design study presented by SPTT Properties argues that the 32m-high project will contrast significantly with the existing streetscape but that it will give enclosure to the “sense of overexposure afforded by the expansive and poorly articulated car park”.

The nine-storey project includes a supermarket, retail and food and beverage shops, office accommodation, a gymnasium, a daycare centre, and 113 residential units, together with 253 car parking spaces.

The developers are also proposing 2,063sq.m of public open space at ground level across the site, separating five blocks at this level. The development will have a footprint of some 2,584sq.m, with a gross floor area that will total some 20,690sq.m.

View of the proposed development from the entrance to the Naxxar UCA through St Paul's Street
View of the proposed development from the entrance to the Naxxar UCA through St Paul's Street

The new development will be located just 27metres off Naxxar’s urban conservation area in close vicinity to the Chapel of St Jacob the Apostle, which is located immediately opposite the proposed development.

The same study acknowledges that the new development will “contrast significantly” with the existing townscape in the immediate vicinity of the site, having a “distinctly different visual appearance to the more traditional townscape in the area.”

Together with the increased height, the development “will noticeably and significantly affect the streetscape views on Triq il-Markiż Guiseppe Scicluna” and Naxxar’s UCA.

The area of the Naxxar trade fair car park earmarked for development, one of three projects for the entire area
The area of the Naxxar trade fair car park earmarked for development, one of three projects for the entire area

The increased height on the site, together with the change in spatial scale, will also affect the setting of the Chapel of St Jacob the Apostle immediately opposite the site.

The developers insist that the project must be seen in the context of the proposed development on the former Trade Fair site – one of three projects proposed in the area – which “will also noticeably affect the streetscape and skyline views on Triq il-Markiż Giuseppe Scicluna, and of the Naxxar UCA”.

The study refers to the large tracts of undeveloped land around the high-rise development which contribute to make the proposed development “noticeably visible” from Triq San Pawl, Triq San Timotju, Triq il-Konverżjoni, Triq it-Torri Gauci, Triq il-Torri tal-Kaptan, and Triq il-Giżwiti. “But the degree of visibility will change if and when these undeveloped, zoned sites are eventually developed,” the study, by ADI Consultants, says.

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