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Zaha Hadid Architects reveals latest plans for Maltese tower


Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) has unveiled its latest designs for a 31-storey tower in Paceville, a tourism development at the heart of St Julian’s in Malta

The late Zaha Hadid, who died in March 2016, is cited among the designers of the skyscraper-led scheme for Maltese developer Joe Portelli, which will include 275 flats and 48 hotel rooms. 

The 24,500m² project includes the renovation of the remains of the 1903 Mercury House, with its two underground vaults created during the Cold War that has been left derelict for the past 20 years. The overhauled landmark will house apartments and a boutique hotel behind refurbished façades.

Plans for a centrepiece 23-storey office-led proposal on the plot were approved in 2011; however, ZHA secured planning for a taller 31-storey skyscraper, dubbed Mercury Tower, earlier this year.

The lower nine-storeys of the new tower will contain only flats. Above them will be three floors housing the hotel’s reception lobby and an outdoor pool.

The upper 19-storeys, which will be ’rotated to orientate’ towards the Mediterranean, will be mainly given over to the hotel rooms.

According to the practice, the twist in the tower will reduce ‘solar gain and instils a sense of dynamism within its silhouette that changes when viewed from different directions around Paceville’.

The AJ100 company clains that the insulated façade and limited glazing in areas of significant direct sunlight will ’provide shading and increase the tower’s overall thermal performance. The tower’s design also incorporates the results of local pedestrian comfort and wind climate assessments.’

7 zha mercury tower swimming pool render by zha

Proposed swimming pool in the middle of the tower

Proposed swimming pool which is in the middle of the tower

Project team

Client J Portelli Projects, Malta
Architect Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA)
Design Zaha Hadid with Patrik Schumacher
ZHA project director Manuela Gatto
ZHA Cluster Director: Charles Walker
Project architects Alberto Barba, Carolina López-Blanco, Yevgeniya Pozigun, Jakub Klaska, Gerhild Orthacker
ZHA head of interiors Kar-Hwa Ho
ZHA project consultant Branko Svarcer
Local architect Annamaria Attard Montalto, Malta
Façade and glazing engineers Werner Sobek, UK
Lighting engineer Bartenbach
Vibration and acoustic consultant ARAU ACUSTICA, Spain
Structural engineers BAC Engineering Consultancy Group, Spain, and
Evolve Consulting Structural and Civil Engineers, UK
MEP engineers ECL Consulting Engineers, Malta
Fire protection and safety consultant Atelier Ten, UK
Planning consultant ERSLI Consultants, Malta
Restoration consultant Perit Marie Louise Caruana Galea, Malta
Waste consultant Desiree Bajada
Landscape consultants Medisun, Malta
Wind loads/pedestrian comfort consultant RWDI UK
Virtual reality studios VRs
Geological stability/dDust and vibration monitoring Terracore, Malta
Project management Pmanage, Malta
Operational monitor Perit John Papagiorcopulo; Perit, Malta
Tourism consultant Mario Loporto, Malta


Readers' comments (2)

  • Chris Roche

    Paceville is a typical resort characterised by unattractive buildings which fail to respond to Malta's architectural heritage, and climate. Paradoxically this building is therefore an appropriate contextual response.

    Chris Roche / Founder 11.04 Architects.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • A bit of twisted architecture could also be seen as an appropriate contextual response to the current Maltese 'establishment'.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

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