Offbeat

By Jack Williams


This bold proposal looks to fuse a modern marvel with nature in order to create a mirrored steel arch where a coastal landmark once stood.

Malta’s famous Azure Window – an iconic archway that featured in Game of Thrones and Clash of the Titans – collapsed into the sea during a storm in March 2017, and these designs propose a modern replacement like no other.

SVETOZAR ANDREEV / CATERS

Known as the “Heart of Malta,” the project was the brainchild of Russian architect Svetozar Andreev, who collaborated with Elena Britanishskaya on the designs.

The proposed new arch would take the same form as the previous limestone arch, only its mirrored steel would allow it to blend seamlessly into its surroundings in the Dwejra Bay.

Svetozar, who worked on the designs for six months, said: “The sight of the empty Dwejra Bay inspired me to create a monument that would do more than simply copy the natural relief of the Azure Window, but would rather serve as a memorial to it, and at the same time become a significant architectural feature with immaculate compositional integrity.”

SVETOZAR ANDREEV / CATERS

The architect first visited Malta in 2008 and said he had previously photographed the arch many times.

Other than simply replacing a national landmark, Svetozar hopes his proposals would – if created – be a new asset to the region, drawing tourists that might otherwise be lost.

The Heart of Malta would also feature more than 5,000 square meters of exhibition space over five floors, as well as a laser show that would bring to life Malta’s history.

The likes of public polling on the proposals have drawn positive results, Svetozar said, and this has given him confidence that the plans will come to light.

SVETOZAR ANDREEV / CATERS

Svetozar, who has submitted the plans to the Maltese authorities, added: “The project objective is to compensate for the loss of the famous Azure Window, and to create a centre of attraction in Dwejra, a new asset to draw tourists, this time to a new architectural and cultural landmark.

“We received actual feedback from the residents of the Republic of Malta as well as people around the world.

“The results of public polling, the project received a great amount of positive feedback.”

Link to website: www.hotei-russia.com

Link to designs: https://www.hotei-russia.com/theheartofmalta