WAN Awards

SATURDAY 22 NOVEMBER 2014

SEARCH   
 
 
WAN Mobile
 
WAN Mobile
Previous Next
 
Valetta City Gate, Valetta, Malta 
Wednesday 17 Feb 2010
 
Artistes protest against Piano design 
 
 
 
Your comments on this project

No. of Comments: 1

Add comments | More comments

23/02/10 Sy Auerbach, F.A.I.A, CHEVY CHASE, MD.
BRAVOBRAVO!! HURRAH !! FINALLY AN APPROPRIATE CRITICISM.

ARCHITECTS MUST STOP TWIRLING AND TWISTING BUJILDINGS – OR LEAVING THEIR ROOFS OFF – AND GET BACK TO THE REAL WORLD!
 

Editorial

Valletta's open air theatre design is 'operationally challenging' 

128 artistes have signed and delivered a petition to the Maltese Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi requesting that he drops Renzo Piano’s designs for a roofless theatre included in his new City Gate masterplan. The signatories include opera singers, artists, dancers and musicians who are protesting against the ‘afterthought’ of the open air theatre.

Frustrated that suggestions made during the consultation process for the €60-€80 million theatre were ignored, the statement read in part: “May we reiterate that the an open-air theatre in its proposed location is operationally challenging due to security measures imposed by any Parliamentary building, limited by weather conditions and also prone to noise pollution: both that which it produces, which can disturb people living in the neighbourhood, and the noise produced around it, such as fireworks, outside festivities, and other factors which can be a severe hindrance to performances.”

The Prime Minister had previously stated that as there were already three closed theatres in the city - the Manoel Theatre, the theatre at St James Cavalier and the Mediterranean Conference Centre, a new concept was needed. But the signatories say an open-theatre is nothing new. They called instead for a covered multi-functional space which addresses issues in the current performance spaces (such as acoustics and modern amenities) and issues raised from their ‘vast knowledge and experience in the pitfalls and opportunities of open-air experiences’.

The open air theatre is part of the overall City Gate masterplan which will, upon completion, provide a new gateway into Valletta, Malta’s capital city and a new parliamentary building with plans to regenerate the bus terminal and other buildings in the future.

The artistes concluded their petition: “We look forward to a time when Renzo Piano’s unstinting efforts to save the space from the hands of politicians can be fully explored and developed not as an afterthought or in competition with parliamentary sittings, housing estate facades or a bus terminus but treated with respect, conviction and expressed as an integral part of Malta’s cultural vision.

Ultimately, the performance space should not be seen as a monument, but as a dynamic cultural focus, essential to the successful development of the City Gate Project and the culture led regeneration of Valletta.”

Piano was initially invited to help guide Valletta’s regeneration plans in 1988 but was dropped from the project after controversy over his designs. His new plans were submitted more recently along with those of local architect Richard England but there has been public contempt for both. The debate is spreading throughout the Maltese population and a Facebook group entitled 'Renzo Piano - should I stay or should I go? (Valletta Project)' has been started by one Maltese resident to gauge opinions. One Piano supporter stated: "A few years ago you designed what was to be a symbol for Malta as the Eiffel Tower is to Paris...please stay...conservative critics please go!! We want a classic example of contemporary architecture", while another states, "I believe that Renzo Pianos Proposal is highly overrated. Others could do much better."

Niki May Young
News Editor

Key Facts

Status Design
Value 70(m€)
Were you involved in this scheme?
Renzo Piano Building Workshop
www.rpbw.com

More projects by this architect

Harvard Art Museums

Kimbell Art Museum

Botin Centre

MUSE - Museo delle Scienze

Diogene

Visitors Center at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center

Harvard Art Museums Expansion

The Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute

The View From The Shard

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

Icon Project, Tjuvholmen development

The Shard of Glass

The Shard

The Shard

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Movie Museum

Landmark Tower

Chapel of Notre Dame du Haut Expansion

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center

The Shard

Whitney Museum

The Shard

Resnick Pavilion, LACMA

The Kimbell Art Museum

Whitney Museum

Central Saint Giles

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum extension

The Shard

Central Saint Giles

Art Institute of Chicago Modern Wing

The Modern Wing, Art Institute of Chicago

Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center

Addition to the Kimbell Art Museum

Lynda and Stewart Resnick Exhibition Pavilion

California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park

The Parco della Musica

EUR Towers

Whitney Museum of American Art

L &G and Mitsubishi Estate Company Building

Pacific Dawn

London Bridge Tower

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

 
Vola
ECOWAN
 

Click here to view the NEWS IN PICTURES tablet site