EM Architect’s design was based on the desire to preserve and enhance this historical building, and one of the first design decisions was to make sure that part of the building would be open to the public and not only to the hotel guests, which is why we have designed the restaurants to be located at key areas which are accessible to the public. The building’s new use was planned so as to cause least changes to the building whilst simultaneously mirroring the original interior and exterior appearance. All modern alterations were planned to be aesthetically distinguishable however still homogeneous when compared to the existing building, so as to produce a holistic design. Through the creation of the guesthouse and ancillary facilities, life was breathed back to the beautiful but at the time derelict and vacant building. In particular, the pool was designed to be concealed within the existing balustrade, ensuring that the structure is hidden from view. Skylights which had been previously closed up have now been re-opened to allow natural light to enter the structure. The façade has been enhanced with the introduction of black apertures adding an additional dimension of interest through the contrast and shadow effect with the stone façade. All rooms are luxuriously planned and all enjoy sea views.
EM Architects have been awarded both the Din l-Art Helwa prize for The Rehabilitation and Re-Use of Buildings and the Malta Architect Award in Hospitality, Tourism Accommodation and Leisure for our Macina project, and have also been shortlisted for the Premju Galizia Urban Regeneration Award.
EM Architects have now been also awarded the European Prix Versailles UNESCO World Architecture & Design Award for their restoration of the Macina, which is now the Cugó Gran Macina Grand Harbour hotel in Senglea.
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Photos taken by Alan Carville