‘High rise will help Sliema environment’ – Chamber of Architects president

Christopher Mintoff claims that Malta is heading towards a 'culture change' with its new high-rise architectural direction. 

Christopher Mintoff
Christopher Mintoff

Two proposed tower blocks of 30 and 40 stories apiece would help Sliema’s environment, according to Chamber of Architects president Christopher Mintoff.

“Sliema is a mess, its skyline looks like a bad grin full of missing teeth,” Mintoff said in an interview with MaltaToday. “One of the biggest plagues of the Maltese urban environment is the support wall [hajt tal-appogg]: blank walls separating buildings of different heights, with no windows or features. They’re hideous. Xemxija, for instance, is full of them. You won’t have that with tower blocks. And high-rise also puts more pressure on architects to come up with good designs…”

When questioned as to whether Malta’s recent high-rise craze boils down to ego, Mintoff admitted that Malta is heading towards a "culture change". 

“When you see one application after another, one for 30 storeys, another for 40… it’s a little like the [Donald] Trump mentality, yes. We’re heading in that direction. So yes, it is a culture change. It is a new architectural direction, but it has its restrictions, too. In our profession we are limited by a number of constraints. In the case of high-rise, it’s floor-to-area ratio that matters. You can only build 50% of the footprint, the rest must be given up as public space…”

Read the full interview in today’s edition of MaltaToday 

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