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Demolishing Iconic Modernist St Julian’s Villa Would Be ‘Great Misfortune To Our Local Heritage’, Residents Warn

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St. Julian’s residents are currently objecting to an iconic landmark piece of Maltese Modernism from the late 1940s which is currently facing demolition threats.

The site in question, Villa Vincenti, is described to have an uncommon beautiful architectural style and is threatened to be replaced by a 14-storey hotel.

“It would be a great misfortune to our local heritage to lose such a gem,” one representation said.

Residents of the area are filing their objections against this permit, with many calling for protection on a level of cultural heritage to be attributed to the building.

The proposed development of a 14-storey hotel with 136 rooms is being designed by architect Robert Musumeci, for developer Carlo Stivala.

“The building should be preserved and restored for modern-day usage, without the raising of additional floors,” said another resident.

“The building is of an uncommon beautiful architectural style and deserves scheduling.”

Back in March 2019, Architect Edward Said had submitted a request with the Planning Authority, on behalf of the Superintendence for Cultural Heritage, to schedule the said premises as GRADE 2, on the basis of the building being a landmark piece of late Modernism.

Residents are also concerned about the worsening traffic situation in the area, and how this development will undoubtedly make the situation worse.

“The area is already terminally congested. Traffic queues are a daily occurrence, and the roads cannot take the extra traffic that would result,” said one resident.

The proposed development is also being described as “massive, unsightly and will destroy any remaining character of the area”.

The St. Julian’s local council also voted against this proposal, urging the Planning Authority to consider discussing the application.

Villa Vincenti used to be the main family residence of architect Gustavo Romeo Vincenti, who also designed the building.

The proposed development is set to include a hotel, offices, restaurants at ground floor level, a gym, fitness studio and spa, a theatre, and a games room.

The representations period is currently open and rejections can be done by sending an email to [email protected]

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When Sasha (formerly known as Sasha Tas-Sigar) is not busy writing about environmental injustice, she's probably fighting for women's rights. Follow her at @saaxhaa on Instagram, and send her anything related to the environment, art, and women's rights at [email protected]

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