The Valletta City Gate by Renzo Piano Building Workshop is a contemporary architecture highlight in the capital of Malta. Pianos reorganisation of the main entrance to the old town is smoothing the way for the future of the city.
Valletta, the historic fortress of the Knights Order of Malta, is UNESCO world heritage since 1980. Immediate eye catcher of Pianos intervention is the new parliament building. Its cubic forms and its stone façade pays attention to the historic urban context yet expresses a strong, clear contemporary design. The lime stone blocks of the facades are broken up and uncover the modern structure of steel and glass.
Apart from the parliament the new open-air theatre is the second key project of Renzo Piano. Therefor he integrated the old Opera house from the mid 19th century which was destroyed by German bombardment during the Second World War. The ruins became an important memorial in the city ever since. Pianos delicate intervention preserves its symbolic power and rewrites a modern theatre within the historic fabric.
Valletta is the cultural capital of Europe in 2018. Then the art museum will reopen its doors and the reconstruction of the former market halls – orchestrated by Maltesian architect Chris Briffa – will be completed, offering even more space for cultural activities – and more reasons to visit the smallest of all European capitals.
All images by Danica O. Kus
Danica Kus is born in Slovenia, studied photography in Belgium at RhoK Academy and Ecole des Arts d’Ixelles, holds also a degree in marketing from the University of Maribor – Faculty of Economy, Slovenia. As a fine art and architectural photographer she is interested in exploring unique identity of the space in order to reveal its character. More information about on danicakus.com.