Binja Laparelli, Maċina and the Coach House have been recognised for their architectural value in the Din l-Art Ħelwa awards.
The Prix d’Honneur for Category A – a Major Regeneration Project, went to “Binja Laparelli” by Bezzina & Cole Architects & Civil Engineers. The judges felt that this new building has successfully achieved its scope within the brief, while at the same time respecting the context of the fortifications. Of particular note was the discreet rational approach, yet imaginative design, in the stone screen created on the Central Bank’s façade, and the integration of the design elements to complement the exterior walkway, and the historical structures.
The prize for Category B – The Rehabilitation and Re-Use of Buildings was awarded to Edwin Mintoff Architects for the Macina project, which the judges felt was setting an example in the rehabilitation and re-use of military buildings.
“This project achieved the necessary luxury for its new use as a high-end guest house, while the overall design concept retained the military functional feel of the building’s previous use, especially in the staircase and the courtyard,” the judges said.
In Category C - A Restoration and Conservation Project, the prize was awarded to The Coach House by perit David Drago of Architecture Project.
“The limestone façade, detailed to mimic a weaved pattern, created a surface of changing shadows echoing the irregular surfaces of the historical walls below,” they said.
The Silver Medal prize was also awarded to The Coach House, signifying the best in all categories, because of the success of this project in creating a harmonious intervention with the simple historical fabric of the existing farmhouse. The jury stressed that it was indeed possible to "introduce an architectural vocabulary that unites the fragments of historic buildings thus creating a pleasing ensemble", rather than resort to the demolition of these simple, vernacular structures.
The XIII Edition of the Din l-Art Ħelwa Awards for Architectural Heritage competition was conducted with the support of the Kamra Tal-Periti, who nominated Conrad Thake as their representative on the jury.
The other judges were Antonio Mollicone, from the University of Malta, and Din l-Art Ħelwa council member Joanna Spiteri Staines, together with David Pace. Din l-Art Ħelwa executive president Maria Grazia Cassar chaired the jury.
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