- The structure would replicate the arch and feature mirrored steel panels.
- There would be nearly 54,000 square feet of exhibition space inside the structure.
A Russian architect is proposing a new mirrored structure to replace an iconic Maltese landmark that was lost to a 2017 storm.
The Azure Window was a natural limestone arch located on Dwejra Bay in the Maltese Islands. It was featured in “Game of Thrones” and “Clash of the Titans” and was a favorite tourist attraction. Sadly, the arch crumbled into the sea during a storm in March 2017.
Now, Russian architect Svetozar Andreev and his design partner, Elena Britanishskaya, propose building a polygonal architectural structure called the “Heart of Malta,” which will feature mirrored steel faces. The architects said in a press release that the structure will blend into the landscape and have the same size and proportions as the original arch.
Nearly 54,000 square feet of exhibition space would be within the structure laid out over five spiraled floors. The site would also feature a laser show in which each spiral step would depict one thousand years of Maltese history.
“We are confident that this project represents an outstanding investment for the future of Malta and Gozo,” Andreev said. “For the project, we propose to make use of the latest techniques and materials available in architecture and shipbuilding to reflect the environment of Dwejra, which will enable us to bring the project to reality while preserving the existing natural coastal landscape.”
Andreev said he first visited Malta and the arch in 2008 and was drawn to its beauty. The idea to replace the arch came to him about six months after the collapse.
“The sight of the empty Dwejra Bay inspired us to create a monument that would do more than simply copy the natural relief of the Azure Window, but would rather serve as a memorial to it, and at the same time become a significant architectural feature with immaculate compositional integrity. The resultant form may be ultra-modern, but it is nonetheless wholly dedicated to historical memory.”
The Maltese authorities are considering the plans, Andreev said, noting that the public reaction has been favorable.
“It was fascinating for us to receive such active feedback on the project from the Maltese people,” said Andreev. “According to an online poll being conducted by Malta Today, 68 percent responded in favor the Heart of Malta project. For us, that response is a true sign of the project’s value.”
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