Maltese Architect Creates Stunning Structure For London's Westfield Shopping Centre

Can we redo our whole house in copper?

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An undulant, metallic form which seemingly floats mid-air is the new Colicci Cafe located at one of London's most well-known shopping malls – Westfield Stratford’s Shopping Centre. It was designed by Mizzi Studios, an award-winning multidisciplinary practice founded by Maltese-British designer, Jonathan Mizzi. 

Mizzi's love for science fiction and high-tech architecture comes to the fore with this sinuous structure. It's bold and luxurious, glorifying materiality and sophisticated bling. 

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Italian coffee brand Colicci appointed Mizzi Studios to design a kiosk located at the entrance of Westfield. They wanted a revolutionary structure, something that would transform the notion of conventional kiosk design.

The studio's reponse was a free-flowing roof structure made of copper sheets, hovering above a cafe enclosed with large glass doors for maximum openability and functionality.

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Because the cafe is situated at a prominent location in the mall, the kiosk was designed to act as a welcoming attraction for Westfield shoppers. Mizzi chose copper to lend their futuristic design a warm and earthy feeling, and the material also corresponded to their client’s branding and relation to nature. 

What's more, it kind of makes us want to renovate our whole lives and include anything that's wavy and copper-clad.

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So how did they make this giant copper curve? Well, Mizzi took an 18th century classic copper sheathing technique and transported it into the digital age using computer aided design and manufacturing. 

The skin’s pattern was designed by creatively dissecting the 3D surface to articulate the contours of the roof design whilst rationalising the tiling dimensions to an adequate size that enables a manual cladding process. In plain english? They made cut-out segments of copper which fit together by hand (and by modern pneumatic rivet gun that used approximately 20,000 rivets) to form one big structure.

Metal Cut Outs
3 D Model 1

The result is an awesome eye-catching structure which glorifies craftsmanship down to the patinated finger prints and hammer marks which you can see up-close on the copper. 

We're going to go ahead and guess that Mizzi's love of craftsmanship has more than a bit to do with his Maltese upbringing. Because everyone knows the Maltese love a bit of craft – whether it's intricate bizilla or more industrial copper-hammering. One thing's for sure, we can't wait to see what's next for this talented architect!

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Do you know of a Maltese person making waves abroad (they don't just have to be copper ones...)? Write to us about them at [email protected]

READ NEXT: Architecture In Malta: A Unisex Profession

Written By

Ann Dingli

Ann Dingli writes mostly about art and design. She enjoys friendly debates and has accepted that she's a small person.