Iċ-Ċentru Malti tak-Ktieb

Malta Book Centre

Date 2020–Ongoing
Client National Book Council
Value n.a.
Location Valletta, Malta

The future Museum of Literature found a home in an old palazzo in the heart of Valletta, in Old Bakery Street. The design of the multifunctional space aims at giving new life to the architecture as well as at creating a new centre of cultural gravity in the capital city.

The need for flexibility led to the design of modular and movable furniture units, customisable according to the client’s needs. A natural palette of colours, defined by the use of organic materials, allows for all the design elements to blend naturally with the environment, letting the architecture of the space speak for itself

The building counts 4 mixed-use storeys, including a basement level and a rooftop area.  

The basement has been conceived as a space dedicated to book launches and eventsequipped with a kitchen area too. Hosting a bookshop, a small reception and a dining area, the ground floor has been designed as a welcoming, calming and informal space in symbiosis with the street and the internal courtyard.

The design principle behind the bookshop revolved around the will to reconnect people through books. In parallel with the main goal of promoting interaction, the insertion of private pockets for more intimate reading will create the perfect balance between quiet and comfort. 

Going up, the first floor will accommodate both an interactive and movable exhibition space and offices for the Museum’s administration –which will be spread over a mezzanine level too. The offices are designed as objects themselves: juxtaposed into the space, functional and easily adaptable to changing conditions. Finally, heading to the open rooftop area, it will be possible to admire an astonishing and unique view on Valletta.

To complement the extremely decadent and fragile beauty of the original fabric, a semi-transparent glass structure has been designed to run on the building internal facade from ground floor all the way up to roof level, becoming the heart of the project as well as a landmark.  

This regeneration project stems from the need of giving to locals and visitors a space where to reconnect and recharge through books and literaturedelve into Maltese literature’s history and discover an oasis for intellectual stimulus and spiritual wellbeing even during the most hectic days.