Planning permission for reuse of Farsons’ Grade 2 iconic brewhouse
The iconic and historic old brewhouse building which forms part of the Farsons Brewing Plant will be given a new lease of life after the Planning Board yesterday approved planning permission for its restoration and rehabilitation.
Once restored, the Grade 2 protected building will become a museum together with a visitors’ centre and other ancillary facilities which include catering establishments and offices.
The iconic, old brewhouse which occupies an area of approximately 1,975m² and is sited within the Mrieħel industrial area was designed by Lewis Farrugia and William Binnie (who also designed Hotel Phoenicia in Floriana) immediately following the end of the Second World War.
Its innovation lies in its structure consisting of reinforced concrete frame together with the architect’s focus on natural lighting and ventilation.
However, its main architectural highlight is the exposed functional copper brewing vats. Their sheer scale highlights the building as a symbol of the long lasting effect of the industrial revolution.
To complement the recently approved upgrading works which will be carried out in Triton Square and King Edward VII Avenue, the board now has approved embellishment works within the front ditch area at the entrance to Valletta, in the immediate vicinity of the City Gate Bridge.
The works will include the creation of a garden incorporating green soft landscaped spaces and a number of small piazzas, finished with local hardstone paving slabs. A one-lane vehicular access along the counterscarp will connect the entrance parking within the ditch to the Lascaris war rooms.
The Superintendent for Cultural Heritage, when consulted, agreed to this project as a proper balance that is being created between necessary green space and open views to allow visual appreciation of the Valletta fortifications both from within the ditch as well as from the square above, and the bridge.
The board also approved planning permission for the clearing and development of a vacant site in Marsaxlokk into a surface car park including landscaping. The board agreed with the Planning Directorate’s positive recommendation given the extreme shortage in car parking facilities and following the designation of ‘il-Magħluq’ as a Special Conservation Area. The site which today is partly disturbed with deposition of rubble material and concrete is located adjacent to a football pitch and in the immediate vicinity of the Marsaxlokk promenade.
The board also approved the extension of two active quarries which are situated within an area with a number of licensed quarries, limits of Siġġiewi. The planning permissions also include the concurrent restoration of those areas within the quarries where the extraction of the material has been exhausted.
The restoration process will involve three distinct phases: Treatment and infilling, aftercare and subsequent after-use as agricultural fields.