Demicoli absents himself from PA deliberations on Mriehel high-rise

Architect Ray Demicoli was absent from a meeting of the Planning Authority’s newly appointed design panel, of which he is a member, when they met to discuss the design quality of the project he designed

Architect Ray Demicoli discussing the planned ‘American University of Malta’ with Prime Minister Joseph Muscat (left)
Architect Ray Demicoli discussing the planned ‘American University of Malta’ with Prime Minister Joseph Muscat (left)

Architect Ray Demicoli, the architect of the proposed Mriehel high-rise project, absented himself from a meeting of the Planning Authority’s newly appointed design panel of which he is a member, when the committee met to discuss the design quality of the project he designed.

The three-strong panel committee, reduced to just two members because of Demicoli’s absence, has approved the project proposed by the Gasan and Tumas groups which will consist of four tower blocks – the North, South, East and West Towers – comprising 16, 18, 20 and 14 storeys respectively, sitting on top of five basement levels. 

Minutes of the meeting held on 11 May include a declaration by Demicoli that he was not present for any part of the discussion, nor did he make any comment about it “either before or after” the meeting.

Demicoli was appointed to the new design advisory committee of three members, set up by the PA, to specifically advise the authority on the design quality of buildings and on the impact on their surroundings.

Demicoli was the leading architect for various large projects, including Portomaso, also developed by the Tumas Group, and is currently the architect for a 40-storey tower hotel in Tigné proposed by GAP Holdings.  

The only committee members present for the meeting discussing the Mriehel towers were Architect David Mallia and art historian Charlene Vella.  

The committee concluded that the visual impact of the project is “not significant enough as to warrant any concerns.”

It also described the design of the project as “fluid, dynamic and interesting.”

It also noted that the decision to put the highest tower furthest away from the road has reduced its impact on rural views.

The committee referred to the “high quality design” of the project and the “harmonious manner” through which the different parts of the project are linked. 

The design advisory committee has recently recommended the development of a 38-storey tower at Town Square in Sliema, describing it as “one aspiring to achieve high quality development in the middle of Sliema.” The Townsquare project is also proposed by the Gasan group. The architect is Martin Xuereb.

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