Heart of Malta: Fallen Natural Landmark Rebuilt in a Dazzling New Form

A stunning rock formation in Malta known as the Azure Window drew visitors from around the world until its collapse in a storm in early 2017, but it could be reborn in an unexpected way. In collaboration with Elena Britanishskaya, architect Svetozar Andreev proposes transforming the site of the fallen landmark into a new exhibition space, mimicking the size and shape of the original using mirrored steel faces. The project, entitled ‘Heart of Malta,’ aims to retain the location as a primary tourist draw and use it as an opportunity to educate visitors on the history of the island nation in the central Mediterranean Sea.

Standing nearly 92 feet tall (28 meters), the abstracted form of the new structure offers more than 53,000 square feet (5,000 square meters) of space spread over five spiraling floors. Each spiral step represents 1,000 years of Maltese history, and the exhibition hall itself showcases everything from traditional shipbuilding methods and materials to cutting-edge modern architectural techniques.

Just like the arch, the building stretches out from the land, connected by a narrow bridge. The top remains a prime overlook to gaze out onto the beautiful seaside landscape of Dwejra, and visitors descend into the exhibition spaces via ramp. An online poll in MaltaToday found that 68 percent of readers were in favor of making the proposal a reality, says Andreev.

“It will be a perfect monument and symbol of the fusion of modernity and nature, of time and history, and a testament to the tenacity of the human spirit.”