Plan­ning per­mis­sion for re­use of Far­sons’ Grade 2 iconic brew­house

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

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.

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