A steel archway could replace Malta’s Azure Window

Posted on 14 January 2019

Malta’s Azure Window (also known as Dwejra Arch) was an iconic 28-metre-tall natural limestone arch in Dwejra Bay, on the island of Gozo in Malta. The arch was a major tourist attraction which featured in the background of a number of films and even the popular Game of Thrones series, until stormy weather caused the eroded archway to collapse on 8 March 2017.

Azure Window, 2009. Image: Felix Koenig, Wikipedia Creative Commons

Now Russian architect Svetozar Andreev of Hotel Russia has designed a modern human-made replacement of the same size, which he dubs the ‘Heart of Malta Project’. The steel structure is described as a ‘polygonal architectural form with mirrored steel faces’ and the monument, if ever erected, would feature five spiral floors of exhibition space, ‘With a dynamic laser show in which each spiral step represents one thousand years of Maltese history,’ according to a press release issued by Svetozar Andreev’s architectural firm.

Сopyright © Svetozar Andreev, 2018. All rights reserved.

Not everyone would agree that it would blend into the landscape as stated by the architectural firm. CNN quoted Andreev as saying that the design was received favourably according to an online poll conducted by Malta Today. He said ‘68% responded in favour of the Heart of Malta Project’.
Some are not convinced however, as Sandro Spiteri said in an opinion piece for The Times of Malta that the Heart of Malta would be ‘an obscenity filled with the greedy gawking at the ridiculous.’

Сopyright © Svetozar Andreev, 2018. All rights reserved.

When asked about the environmental impact of the proposed structure, Andreev said that the structure wouldn’t damage the natural cliffside. ‘I love Malta very much, and I understand that nature is one of the archipelago’s most important treasures,” he says.’We propose to utilise the latest ecological materials used in shipbuilding and architecture. This will protect the surface from corrosion, fire, distortion, and will also prevent any negative environmental impact.’

THE HEART OF MALTA / Project By The Svetozar Andreev Studio from Svetozar Andreev on Vimeo.

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