July, 03, 2019

An outdoor photographic roadshow exhibition which celebrates thirty iconic architectural buildings and monuments was launched by the Planning Authority earlier this week. Under the theme name ‘Unsung’ Architectural Icons, the roadshow exhibition places in the limelight some of Malta’smost important yet at times unappreciated buildings and monuments that were built in the late 19th and the 20th Century.

Most of the buildings are ‘modernist’- a style or philosophy of architecture and design that was introduced in the late 1920s to the 1960s. It was associated with an analytical approach to the function of buildings, strictly rational use of (often new) materials, structural innovation and the elimination of ornament.

The exhibition includes buildings such as the Art Deco style showroom of Muscat Motors in Gzira, the Rialto Cinemadesigned in an Art Moderne style by Maltese architect Edwin England Sant Fournier and the Vincenzo Bugeja Institute in Santa Venera designed in a French classical style by well-known architect Emmanuel Luigi Galizia.  

Planning Authority Executive Chairman Johann Buttigieg said, “The objective of this initiative is to raise awareness and an appreciation amongst the public for some of our country’s architectural treasures which at times go unnoticed because they are not the typical palazzo or auberge with grand facades. Here we are speaking about 30 buildings and monuments which are protected by the Authority at Grade 1 or 2, towards the conservation of our heritage.”

Superintendent of Cultural Heritage Joe Magro Conti said, “This is an exhibition giving tribute to the creativity of Maltese architects who fostered the classical principles of Roman writer Vitruvius about architecture and design: proportion, rhythm, symmetry, balance, composition, and harmony. Modernist Architecture based on science and new materials which looks ahead with the interest of discovering new fronts in architecture.”

The exhibition starts off in Sliemaalong the promenade (next to The Chalet)between 1st July and the 10th July 2019, than it will move to the locality of St Paul’s Bay and will be set up in front of the Malta National Aquarium in Qawra between the 22nd and 31st July 2019. Between the 10th and 19th August 2019 it will be placed in the piazza infront of the Marsaxlokk Parish Church and will end off in St George’s Square in Valletta between the 26th August and 4th September 2019. The photographs were taken by members of the Malta Institute of Professional Photography. The initiative is partially funded by the European Union.