HISTORICAL AUSTRALIAN TIMBER BUNGALOW TO BE RESTORED AND RELOCATED TO TA’ QALI NATIONAL PARK

March, 22, 2019

A unique 100-year-old habitable bungalow built entirely of timber will be restored and relocated to the Ta’Qali National Park after the Planning Commission granted permission for works to go ahead. The Grade 2 protected building will be moved to the National Park to make this particular structure more accessible to the public.    

The Australian bungalow was brought to Malta in the 1920s as part of a proactive scheme aimed at assisting the training of potential Maltese migrants wishing to work in Australia focusing on building techniques. 

The bungalow which is currently sited at the Ghammieri Government Farm in the outskirts of Luqa will be dismantled and restored to its former glory.  Currently, the structure is in a bad state of repair. While every possible effort will be made to retain the original structure, it is evident that certain structural and decorative components may need to be a replacement. Such interventions shall be carried out using materials of similar quality and characteristics.

The planning permission also includes an approved restoration method statement which has received the Superintendent of Cultural Heritage endorsement. The Planning Authority’s conservation officers will monitor the restoration works.

The restoration project will be carried out by the Din l-Art Helwa.

Back in 2006, the Planning Authority had given protection status to this Australian Bungalow.

 

Additional Information:

It was originally located in the Migrants Training Centre in the Bugeja Technical Institute at Hamrun but was relocated to the Government Experimental Farm in Ghammieri in 1920, where it remains to date. This pre-fabricated building used to be built and dismantled in order for trainees of different courses to learn how to construct such a building by using standardized building elements in wood.

The bungalow is a freestanding wooden structure supported on short stilts and consisting of a large room with smaller ones at the ends.  The front part has a veranda and has a double pitched roof, which is very rare in the Maltese skyline.

The bungalow has had some repair modifications carried out to it throughout the years but it is still largely in its original state.  At present, it is used as a classroom by the Agricultural and Rural Development Division Department in which students are taught biology and farming at a secondary school level. This unique structure in Malta is thus of substantial historical, architectural and social significance since it was an element that facilitated aspiring Maltese migrants and helped the forging of ties between Malta and Australia.