New & now
Xewkija project described as ‘excellent example of what should not be happening in Gozo’
The application shows a “complete lack of respect for the vernacular.”

Jillian Mallia

A new proposed development in Xewkija is being described as an “excellent example of what should not be happening in Gozo” as vernacular and not to mention historical architecture will undoubtedly be engulfed.

The proposal is being dubbed as an “integration” of a historically valued house in the Gozitan town into a four-floor block of flats. The proposal PA/08409/20 states: “Proposed internal and external alterations of existing dwelling consisting of limited demolition of existing rooms on ground floor and first floor.”

xewkija

Apart from this, the application is also proposing “excavation and construction of basement garages, ground floor garages, 1 domestic store on ground floor level and 32 apartments on first, second, third and fourth floor levels. Existing facade on Triq il Bennejja to be integrated in new project.”

In comments to Times of Malta, restoration architect and Din l-Art Helwa council member Joanna Spiteri Staines said that the application shows a “complete lack of respect for the vernacular, no attempt to study the history of the building and total insensitivity in the architectural approach of additions.”

xewkija

In theory, integrating the existing facade sounds all well and good, however proposed streetscape elevations reportedly show a house (the current standing one) dwarfed by the surrounding block of flats.

Spiteri Staines said that such an application should not have been accepted in the first place as the plans failed to show details including surrounding trees and roofing features that should have been part of the proposal’s vetting process. “Why was this accepted in the first place, without the basic information that is required for planning applications?”

PA/08409/20

6th May 2021


Jillian Mallia
Written by
Jillian Mallia
A book lover, writer and globetrotter who loves exploring new places and the local gems that the Maltese Islands have to offer. An avid foodie and arts fanatic, Jillian searches the island and beyond for the perfect settings to write about.

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