Villa Anna Teresa Retirement Complex in St Julian’s, the regeneration of the Farsons’ Brewhouse in Mrieħel, the new Salvo Grima Group offices in Marsa, and Bothouse in San Ġwann won the top prizes at the 2023 Malta Architecture and Spatial Planning (MASP) Awards held last Saturday.

The awards are organised by the Planning Authority. Their purpose is to promote and give recognition to quality architectural and interior design projects that promise to leave a positive mark for decades to come.

The President’s Award was handed to Prof. Richard England for his outstanding contribution to the education, theory and practice of architecture and his distinguished lifetime service towards the profession, the jury panel said.

The Farsons Brewhouse project in Mrieħel by lead architects Ritchie Studio was the winner of the Rehabilitation and Conservation Award. The jury felt that this project was a truly remarkable example of sensitive adaptive reuse of spaces for contemporary needs, tied in with authentic appreciation of industrial architectural heritage, the jury added.

The Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre and Nature Park in Marsaxlokk by Prof. Ruben Paul Borg and the regeneration of the Tal-Għaqba Windmill in Naxxar by Doric Studio both received a special commendation in this category.

Restoration Award

The Restoration Award was given to AP Valletta for the Tower and Spire at St Paul’s Anglican Pro-Cathedral in Valletta.

St Paul's Anglican Pro-Cathedral.St Paul's Anglican Pro-Cathedral.

"This project stands out for its exemplary holistic approach and the transdisciplinary methodology that was meticulously used to repristinate the historical elements that were lost during the lifespan of the tower." 

The Jesuit Church Oratories in Valletta by the Restoration and Preservation Department and the Grand Master’s Palace Regeneration Project in Valletta by Heritage Malta and the Boiler Wharf Industrial Shed in Senglea by Infrastructure Malta all received a special commendation within this category.

The Bothouse.The Bothouse.

The Bothouse in San Gwann by SON Architecture carried the Residential Architecture Award. This project was found to offer superior and unexpected spatial solutions while factoring in clear environmental considerations.

"The sculpted geometry and overall cohesion resulted in an artful and playful contemporary building, which successfully managed to reverse the nondescript architecture that characterised such places," the jury said. 

In this same category, a special commendation was given to Chris Briffa Architects for Villa Saudade in Balzan.

The Open Spaces award 

The Open Spaces award was won by Design & Technical Resources for the Green Islands project in Qormi. This successful project seeks to heal a scar by bridging over the culvert’s air space from one side of the embankment to the other, creating a new plane for trees, shrubs and smaller ecosystems to emerge, the jury said.

The Urban Greening project in Żabbar by Doric Studio in collaboration with GreenServ received a special commendation.

C+K Architecture with their retirement home project on the grounds of Villa Anna Teresa in St Julian’s was the winner of the Commercial and Public Buildings Award. The jury was impressed by the outstanding quality of the holistic design of the project and praised the excellent contextualisation of the new contemporary extension characterised by its sensitive architectural grammar.

Dar Bjorn in Żebbuġ and Trident Park in Mrieħel by (X,Y,Z) Architecture & Design and lead architects Ritchie*Studio respectively received a special commendation.

The Interior Architecture Award for Residential Buildings was won by 3DM Architecture with their project Twentyfour in Rabat (Malta). This winning interior project is exemplary for its intelligent reconfiguration of spaces, coherent approach, bespoke interiors and elegance and its spectacular treatment of both natural and artificial light, the jury said.

Studio Niche and CVC architecture studio received a special commendation in this category for Monstera in St Julian’s and House 13 in Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq, respectively.

Interior Architecture Award for Hospitality and Tourism Projects

The AX ODYCY Hotel in Qawra by Box Concept Studio in collaboration with interior designers Simon Abela & Sara Brincat won the Interior Architecture Award for Hospitality and Tourism Projects.

"This project is a lesson in the articulated use of interiors carried out through a well thought-out transformation of complex large-scale spaces, which still managed to retain a constant flow and distinctiveness at the same time catering for different experiences under one roof."

In this category the jury gave two special commendations to Serviced Apartment at Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, Golden Bay by QP and Aalto and Deep Blue in Wied iż-Żurrieq by architect Rebecca Zammit.

Architecture Award for Commercial or Public Buildings

The new Salvo Grima Group offices in Marsa by Box Concept Studio and Vinci Architects took the prize for the Interior Architecture Award for Commercial or Public Buildings.

The Salvo Grima project.The Salvo Grima project.

"The design of this impressive project is an excellent example of a post-pandemic, new work environment experience, considered by the jury “to be even better than home,” with attention to natural light and detailing," the awards jury said.

University Student Gary James Ghirxi was the winner of the Outstanding Student Project Award with his project The Adaptive Re-use of a Landscape in Tension. Set into the ex-Hardrocks quarries of Wied il-Għasel, the jury was particularly struck by the modest interventions, with realistic and reduced methods resulting in an outstanding landscape, which managed to create a destination in itself. It was deemed to be a very realistic proposal, which brought together history and use, the jury added.

The Revitalising Swieqi and Remodelled Neighbourhoods in Msida by Samuel Cilia and Martina Chetcuti, respectively, received special commendations.

AP Valletta also won the Urban Planning Concept award for the regeneration of Wied is-Sewda in Qormi. This masterplan regeneration proposal aims at reconnecting the area to the community, finally benefiting from its green valley. Termed as a “super solution for an actual no place”, this concept embodied a true environmental treatment, with climate resilient infrastructure, setting it as a flagship example of place-making, which manages to connect elements separated through the decades.

Two other projects were given a special commendation in this category namely the Regeneration of Ġebel San Martin in Żejtun by Project Green and the Renovation of St. Elmo Environs, in Valletta by AP Valletta.

The Small Project award was won by architect Andrew Sultana and Austin Camilleri for their unique project Id-daħla tal-Palazz/Mafkar lil Antoine De Paule at San Anton Palace in Attard.

"The works rethink the idea of a monument within a historic setting and is spurred by the architectural lines of the portico and the soul of the site itself. The monument is characterised by a rare delicate restraint, which is symbolic yet not overpowering and remarkably sensitive to a building of immense cultural grandeur and importance."

In this category, the Courtyard House in Birkirkara by architect Mark Cauchi, architect James Dingli and architect Robert Pace received a special commendation.

Design Award for Good Architecture and Structure 

The jury decided that the Design Award for Good Architecture and Structure went to two projects of different scale.

Villa Anna Teresa Retirement Complex in St. Julians by C+K Architecture was labelled as the best, overall large-scale community project for the unique way it enriched and improved the urban context, innovatively and creatively.

"Twentyfour in Rabat (Malta) by 3DM Architecture although small in scale is an outstanding endeavour whereby the residence seamlessly integrates with its surroundings by adhering to the timeless aesthetics of Maltese Architecture, while infusing a contemporary sensibility," the jury said.

The Public Vote Award was won by Heritage Malta with the Grand Master’s Palace Regeneration Project.

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