Malta Inside Out


Renzo Piano’s Plans for City Gate, Valletta

Model men in a remodelled Valletta.  Renzo Piano's plans for City Gate.

Model men in a remodelled Valletta. Renzo Piano's plans for City Gate.

Chris Farrugia has taken 300 photos of the Renzo Piano exhibition at the National Museum of Archaeology and created a truly extraordinary, three-dimensional, 360-degree experience using Photosynth technology.

Thanks to Chris’s monumental photography effort we can all examine Piano’s concepts for the City Gate area of Valletta in minute detail and at leisure. So, there’s no need to hot-foot it to the museum in person to have your take on the plans. As you zoom around the screens, you start to get a feel of the massive change that will be underway once Piano’s plans become reality.

Chris explains his technique: “The best synths are made up of lots of overlapping images. Taking photos from a single position is not enough. You need to start by shooting from a wide angle, then move around the subject, and then get in close to capture detail. The Piano exhibition is ideal because of the granularity of detail and because of the interior location, enabling me to shoot panaromas from each of the four corners of the room, as well as panoramas from the middle part of every wall”.

How to view

You will be prompted to download Photosynth if you do not already have this available on your computer. It only takes a minute.

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16 Comments about “Renzo Piano’s Plans for City Gate, Valletta”

  1. […] Of course, plans are also in place for Valletta’s next phase of metamorphosis: City Gate. […]

  2. […] capital Valletta has rarely been out of the news this past year. Renzo Piano’s plans for the City Gate area have focused attention on Valletta as never before. Notte Bianca, a night-long street life cum […]

  3. Jean de la Valette weeps at the lego-like monstrosities being inflicted upon the city he built. As usual, the unaccountable authorities are spending European Community money like drunken sailors, to ravage and destroy the Maltese NATIONAL patrimony!

  4. Better Renzo Arbore than Renzo Piano, estethically speaking at least!Centuries of artistes from Caravaggio to Cali weep at the bastardization of Valletta by Sig. Piano and his sychophant
    Malta groupies~~~~

  5. The RAPE of Valletta Town. Great shame on YOU Maltese Government and Those that want to modernize the Town.

    If you want a modern town, NEW Capital. Lets build one and keep Valletta Walled Town as it was intended by the creactors of this place in Malta. A historic place should be kept not spoiled.

  6. Oh god no, what a monstrosity just leave the historic city as it is there don’t need to be any modernization that’s what makes it great is it’s history. Why ruin it to be mediocre like everything else in the world seriously what a moronic idea.

  7. This awful plan ruins the uniqueness of the beautiful and ancient
    city of Valletta.

  8. i live in england and visit family once/twice a year and find this a crying shame what is happening,visitors to malta come to see these monumentus sights.

  9. @Ian, well, you’re spot on right now as anyone visiting Valletta at the moment, will have the inconvenience of building works going on. But we’ve all holidayed in some city or other that’s undergoing works. I went to Barcelona the year before it held the Olympics and it was like that! But you’re also right to say that not all the development going on looks like it will pan out for the better. We have our reservations about the new parliament (needing to be at the Gate end of Valletta at all). But we will all have to reserve some judgement for the outcome. Cities are living beings, even those with deep history and myriad historic sights. See this post also also for a take on what Valletta can perhaps be:

  10. What a disaster of plan for such a beautiful baroque city. I really don’t know what the politicians where thinking about when the selected this botched up plan.

  11. I would have preferred leaving the city with it`s baroque style and used the funds to build up the opera house rather than having it as an amphitheatre! Ok, I agree that Vallletta needed an overall facelift, but one which is adapted to it, retaining it`s sense of history, arousing interest and curiosity in times past.

  12. Cities are forever growing and Valletta, as beautiful and unique as it is, is no different. I visited Malta last year after a 20 year absence and i was happy to see the new generation of Maltese moving forward with the times so I’m surprised to read that many authors posting their comments would rather to be stuck in a time warp then to proceed with a symbol of modernity that will act as a beacon to visitors entering the grand city. Many cities and its people around the world once once found themselves in similar situations as Valletta: Paris and the George Pompidou Centre, Sydney and the Sydney Opera House, and in Rome with the Sistine Chapel. They were all controversial projects and now look; they’re amazing spaces to be enjoyed by all and for generations to come. Have faith, Malta in your City and what it will be. And lets face it the Valletta gates of old was an eye soar…. If I could change the subject just briefly. What i did find more worrying was the overuse of the English language on my visit. Being of Maltese parentage it was sad to hear the Maltese not speaking their language to each other. It is a fact that languages and dialects disappear each day and I hope the unique Maltese language doesn’t suffer the same fate. So get passionate about preserving your language as you do your public spaces…. i love Malta 🙂

  13. David,
    I couldn’t agree more with you on the need for more openness in thinking through city spaces and letting some new arrive within their portals. Valletta has its Victoriana wave – the Stock Exchange, the covered market and the Chamber of Commerce building – all new in their time but which seem perfectly in harmony with the so-called ‘baroque’ which the city isn’t really, of course.

    Regarding Maltese, well this is a subject close to my heart right now as I have a son, age 9, with mother tongue English. The National Curriculum makes no allowance in its teaching of Maltese for those whose mother tongue is English although they are Maltese nationals. Maltese is not taught as a foreign language to children like my son, who has now dropped so far behind in the subject we have had to pull him out of Maltese altogether. If there were some chance of him managing the language as a second language, he would cope but they have put him off Maltese completely. The National Curriculum assumes all living here are Maltese mother tongue speakers, and so by not recognising that some are but a lot aren’t, and not allowing for two levels of leaving exam in Maltese, many like my son are now not learning the language at all. The mess stems from the top down, and even those willing to learn Maltese have a huge struggle to do so – whether kids or adults. The system isn’t at all helpful or encouraging.

  14. […] a beacon of light in heritage rehabilitation and good sense?Our article on the development of Valletta’s City Gate area continues to provoke comment, mostly negative. Meanwhile, the Master Plan for Cittadella in […]

  15. Observing the new gate on entering Valletta makes me feel as though
    I’m entering Egypt in the time of the pharaohs.

  16. Good point Salvatore. It’s less a gate now, more a gap, and those bastion ends either side do stand proud like Sphinx.

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