renzo piano: valletta city gate and parliament well underway
renzo piano: valletta city gate and parliament well underway renzo piano: valletta city gate and parliament well underway
aug 10, 2013

renzo piano: valletta city gate and parliament well underway

renzo piano: valletta city gate and parliament well underway
image © RPBW




renzo piano‘s contributions to the alternately welcome and controversial valletta city restoration project are well underway. an open air theater at the former opera house site, the design of a new parliament building and the renovation of the historically significant (and five times iterated) city gate are part of a greater plan to restore the baroque capital city on the maltese islands to an iteration of its former glory. while the city has been described by UNESCO as a rare urban site, the masterfully engineered, pristine limestone bastions and buildings were devastated by world war II and further ravaged by confused urban development.

in process view 
image © RPBW




the piano scheme aims for coherence and subtlety, but has garnered criticism for the consistent preservation of ruins and restrained tectonic interventions. the remains of edward middleton barry’s neoclassical design for the opera house will be preserved with a curtain of steel masts and translucent screens; while the parliament building will be clad in 7000 quarried and lasercut angled blocks.

street view 
image © RPBW




the decision to move the parliament building is both an effort to maintain the dignity of the ruins and improve pedestrian circulation within the capital. the composition of cultural and civic venues is a strategy by which a more dynamic, contemporary metropolitan culture and makes an opportunity for the site to retain its long-held history and symbolism.

the open air theater preserves the ruins with steel masts 
image © jonathan borg via

7000 stones make up the facade of the new parliament building 
image © RPBW

rendered view of the parliament entrance 
image © RPBW

civic and cultural venues are in close proximity while maintain pedestrian friendly divisions 
image © RPBW

faceted parliament interior 
image © RPBW

model of the masterplan 
image © RPBW


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