Forni Stores

Date 2023
Client n.a.
Value n.a.
Location Valletta, Malta

heritage regeneration maltese heritage rehabilitation restoration valletta regeneration

The Forni Stores form part of the historical buildings within the Cruise Passenger Terminal waterfront, located in Valletta’s Grand Harbour. The initial restoration of this building was completed in 2006. In 2021 a new restoration campaign was initiated during which a condition survey and deterioration mapping of the masonry structures revealed serious weathering problems due to the marine environment.

Forni Stores consist of two distinct blocks which, like the neighbouring Pinto Stores, were built during the 17th and 18th centuries to serve as warehouses. Sections of these buildings were severely damaged during the Second World War. As part of the restoration in the 2000s, the unstable remains of Forni Stores were demolished to accommodate a new building, keeping the historical façade with its three arched bays in place.

The project involved the restoration of the historical façade of Forni Stores. The objectives were to repair and where require replace the heavily deteriorated stonework, exposed to salt influx from the close proximity of the sea and harsh weather conditions. Analysis of the existing geometry, combined with the study of historical documentation was essential to understand the changes made over the years, and establish a sequence of transformations. Photogrammetry was also used to support the studies, assisting with the understanding of the geometry of each arch, which allowed for a comparison of the variations between different arches.

This project highlighted two critical aspects of heritage conservation: the necessity for ongoing, interdisciplinary studies to fully understand the distinct phases of a building and their influence on construction techniques and historical structures; and the importance of careful recording and documenting prior and during interventions to support significant restoration efforts. The project underlined the evolution of restoration theories and standards and their application on local heritage.

Read the article: Valletta Waterfront’s Forni Buildings rejuvenated