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Iconic Pink Modernist Home In Balzan Faces The Chopping Block

A pale-pink modernist house in Balzan is set to face the chopping block despite a government pledge to protect the islands’ 20th-century heritage.

The house called “Walmarville” is a typical, eye-catching example of local modernist architecture, a style introduced in the 1920s that remained à la mode in Malta until the 1960s.

If approved, the application would see Walmerville demolished to make way for a garage with four car spaces, a ground floor maisonette and three apartments.

Dear Planning Authority, can you please illuminate us with what constitutes a Modernist build worthy of scheduling? Because if this example below, didn’t make the cut, then I’m not sure what will.

Posted by Lisa Gwen on Thursday, 29 October 2020

Questions arise as to why a clear example of modernism did not get protection from the Planning Authority. 

Just last month, the PA held an out-door photography exhibition called Unsung’ Architectural Icons to celebrate Modernist style on the islands, including churches, commercial and residential buildings like Walmarville.

Building plans

“It is our duty to raise awareness about these buildings and guarantee that they are conserved in the most suitable way for the benefit of future generations,” Environment Minister Aaron Farrugia said at the exhibition’s opening.   

He even mentioned Malta’s “Irrestawra Darek” or “restore your home” scheme which owners of scheduled buildings are given support to conserve their buildings.

More than 44 properties, mainly in Rabat and Pieta, received protection for their historical merit by the Planning Authority this year. It seems Walmarville didn’t make the cut. 

The pink house is beloved by local artists and those with a keen eye for old architectural gems. A Maltese design house called “Te Fit-Tazza” even immortalised it in a minimal print.

Meanwhile, local artists and residents are rallying to file their objections in response to the application.

“Dear Planning Authority, can you please illuminate us with what constitutes a Modernist build worthy of scheduling? Because if this didn’t make the cut, then I’m not sure what will,” MaltaDoors creator Lisa Gwen said, whose page documents historic gems like this Balzan home.

Those against its demolition can object until 6th November.

Do you think Walmarville should be protected?

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