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Lift going up in the world

The Barrakka lift has won an award at the World Architecture Festival. Photo: Jason Borg

The Barrakka lift has won an award at the World Architecture Festival. Photo: Jason Borg

The Barrakka lift design won an award at the Inside Festival, which forms part of the World Architecture Festival being held in Singapore.

Architecture Project designed the 20-storey-high lift as part of Valletta’s regeneration.

AP partner Konrad Buhagiar told Times of Malta that although it was the smallest project in the competition, the lift design won the award because of the way a contemporary structure blended in with the historic setting.

“We did not try to make it look old or trendy but created something which, although an echo of the previous lift, blended in with its surroundings,” he said.

The Barrakka lift beat larger and more complex projects such as the new Marina Bay Cruise Centre in Singapore and the Sydney Cruise Terminal, among others.

The original lift had been built in 1905 during Valletta’s prime as a trading port. It was 60 metres tall and contained two lift cabins, each with a capacity of 12 passengers. The operation was closed down in 1973 and the structure abandoned and eventually dismantled in the 1980s.

The new lift, commissioned by the Grand Harbour Regeneration Corporation plc, is 58 metres high and has two passenger cabins with a total capacity of 21 passengers. It was inaugurated in December last year.

The €2.5 million project was part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund.

AP’s lighting consultant for the project was Franck Franjou and the mechanical engineer was Ray Spiteri.

The new Simonds Farsons Cisk brew house, another AP project, was shortlisted for another award. A decision is expected today.

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