American architects to study Malta’s megalithic sites

American architects are set to travel to Malta next year to study the world’s oldest free-standing stone structures, dating more than 6,000 years.

A study tour for expert architects and their scholars from all over the US are expected in Malta during March and October 2013, and will focus on options and methodologies for safeguarding irreplaceable built heritage, while still attending and protecting the needs of the modern public that seeks to experience it.

 'Conservation of Architectural Heritage' will use classroom lecture, labs and escorted field trips to introduce a working concept of the marriage of architecture, archaeology and other sciences.

The 10-day on-site course addresses registered US architects and designers who will earn 21 learning units in the essential field of sustainable design.

According to the group, "Malta and Gozo, are home to a most remarkable concentration of intact built heritage, including the highest density of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in any nation-state anywhere in the world."

Malta's patrimony in stone ranges from the oldest free-standing stone architecture in the world, to one of the British Empire's most formidable defensive systems, and includes a rich mix of domestic, religious and military architecture from the ancient, medieval and early modern periods.

By introduction to many successful examples of adaptive reuse over centuries, participants are to gain experience and inspiration for application in their practice.

They can expect to design new public projects with a fuller historic understanding of the evolution of monumental architecture, particularly the world's purest and most original expression of sensitivity to the union of nature and pre-planned enclosed ceremonial space.

The course is being provided by the Florida-based non-profit organisation OTS Foundation and the University of Malta's Faculty for the Built Environment.

OTSF is a registered provider for the American Institute of Architects, has operated for Elderhostel and currently runs a Malta programme for the Road Scholar organization of adventures in lifelong learning.

Educational outreach about Malta's megalithic legacy and new research in the field of archaeoacoustics are currently being prepared by OTSF for a travelling lecture in the USA.


Dear Karl, for your info. Malta's temples are no longer considered as the oldest free-standing stone architecture in the world. May I refer you to the National Geographic Magazine of June 2011 where we find that a Temple dating back to 11,600 years ago has been unearthed on a remote hilltop in Southern Turkey, known as GOBEKLI TEPE.