January, 17, 2018

Another 22 properties in Sliema exhibiting traditional, eclectic and Art Nouveau designs have been given heritage protection as Grade 2 scheduled buildings by the Planning Authority. In just over a month, the Authority has issued a heritage protection status for a total of 57 properties within this locality alone. 

The properties, which are clustered around three nodes within the urban conservation area of Sliema, display a collective value since they form part of a row of buildings that have similar height, design, proportions, materials, style and massing.  Although most of these properties have been protected for their collective value, each one has individual merits for scheduling, often having peculiar features on the facade and interior that distinguish them from other buildings. 

The first cluster of houses is located in and around il-pjazza tal-Lunzjata. While a number of properties within the pjazza were scheduled in 1995, the addition of these 4 properties will ensure a holistic approach from a planning and cultural heritage point of view. 

The other nodes along Triq Gorg Borg Olivier and Triq Sir Adrian Dingli consist of properties that mainly exhibit Art Nouveau and eclectic styles. One cluster of properties in Triq Gorg Borg Olivier consist of two storey buildings having a recessed arzella doorway surmounted by a decorative wrought iron fanlight, and flanked by a mullioned window or bifora. The first floor is characterised by an open wrought iron balcony and an unusual five sided closed timber balcony. This stretch of houses provide a certain rhythm to the streetscape whereby it is characterised by the repetition of a door flanked by a window at ground floor and an open and closed timber balcony at first floor.

Another stretch of  properties that are being scheduled in this same street are fine examples of Art Nouveau. These 5 properties are characterised by the use of decorative designs around the apertures and the unusual closed masonry balconies that are supported by decorated continuous corbels and the use of coloured glass and persjani windows.  The repetition of the facade elements provide a certain harmony and homogenous effect to the streetscape.

In Triq Sir Adrian Dingli, a cluster of 7 properties mainly featuring Art Nouveau design are also being protected. In the past, prominent people living in this main street, sought to showcase their wealth and social status through extravagance in the facades of their properties.  In return, celebrated architects and craftsman provided special attention to the design and details of the facades especially the scaling and detailing of the different materials including stone, timber and wrought iron. 

The Planning Authority uses the planning tool of scheduling to legally protect properties which are deemed to contain heritage significance. Through the scheduling process the Authority is continuing its commitment to identify further properties in the Maltese Islands that merit protection. From time to time, the Authority issues restoration grant schemes to assist owners of scheduled properties with their upkeeping and maintenance.

The full list of properties which are scheduled may be viewed from the online register that the Authority has on its website