In 2008, Studio Renzo Piano Building Workshop began work on the Valletta City Gate project which redesigned access to the historic centre of Malta’s capital.
The project is located in an important area of the capital of Malta close by its famous and impregnable XV century walls; while already protected as a World Heritage Site, there was nevertheless a great need for an architectural and urban re-organisation project.
The Studio RPBW project managed to establish dialogue involving the old and new buildings and the gateway to the city.
In this dialogue between history and innovation, the choice of local stone for walls and historic buildings played a fundamental role. In the new buildings, stone helped ensure integration with the overall context while equally emphasising them through absolutely innovative applications.
The cladding of the facades of the New Parliament is not intended merely as an external finishing for the building: stone has been entrusted with new functions (energy and lighting control) that go beyond its general protective purposes.
The decorations in local stone also play an important role by modulating the light penetrating inside the building and thereby assisting air conditioning. This explains the brises-soleil elements designed in accordance with the angle of the Sun's rays yet, nevertheless, integrated into the fabric of the building.
CFF Filiberti Co., which worked on the engineering of the facade and the production of individual stone elements presented this exhibition at Marmomacc to enhance and promote the technical and design aspects of this work by highlighting the innovative use of stone and demonstrating the new technological qualities that can be obtained with this ancient material.
The exhibition illustrates the history of the project with photos and drawings detailing the facade design process, following the route taken by natural stone from the quarry to the installation site. The exhibition is flanked by stone elements used in the Malta project in 1: 1 scale to outline the engineering process involved in the details and stone processing.
24 – 27 September 2014
Renzo Piano Building Workshop and Malta
A new stone facade for the New Parliament
curated by Angelo Bertolazzi, Vincenzo Pavan