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The Superintendence for Cultural Heritage has decided that Palazzina Vincenti in Balluta is deserving of protection and inclusion in the list of scheduled buildings. 

The villa, which is currently facing the threat of demolition, is considered to be an iconic modernist building with “historical, architectural, social, research representative, contextual and rarity levels”, the superintendence has said.

An application for its demolition and for it to be replaced by a 14-storey hotel is currently being evaluated by the Planning Authority, which will now need to decide whether to accept the Superintendence’s recommendation to schedule the building.

Asked what stage a request for the building to be scheduled was at, Environment Minister Aaron Farrugia said in Parliament yesterday that the Planning Authority’s executive council was considering the request. 

In a Facebook post, architect Edward Said, who submitted the request for the building to be scheduled, urged members of the public to submit its representation to the PA (PA/07761/21) by 10th December. 

He explained that the villa had been designed by Gustavo Romeo Vincenti and was “one of those particular works of architecture erected by an architect for himself, as his home”. 

“The soul of his mansion permeated through capacious windows fitted with sleek metal installations, something which Vincenti had pioneered in his landmark eponymous pre-war apartment blocks in Valletta and Floriana,” Said noted. 

The mansion, he said, boasts some of the “first known modernist interpretations of the Maltese closed balcony”. 

“What Palazzo Falson, Mdina is to Siculo-Norman architecture, what Hostel de Verdelin, Valletta is to Early Maltese Baroque, what Balluta Buildings across the water to local Art Nouveau, Palazzina Vincenti is to early Maltese modernism/Bauhaus architecture – a monument worthy of full protection and preservation.” 

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