Giving Archicultural Value to Valletta
It has been a great pleasure for me to host the Anhalt University of Applied Science for their Studio as part of the Masters Course in Architecture and Landscape Architecture.
Valletta has opened its doors to the Architects of our time and of the future, coming from Europe and from as far as Canada and China.
The Studio has been a great experience for the City and for the University alike. It came at a time when Valletta is living its 440 Anniversary from its Foundation in 1566, coming straight from the drawing board.
The designer city of the 16th Century, Valletta, was built with Vision as much as with a passion. The lack of a combined vision and philosophy, and perhaps the lack of contracting ideas for a NEW city, the Citta’ Nuova ordered, designed and built by Grand Master of the Knight of Malta Jean Pariso de La Vallette, Francesco Laparelli and Girolamo Cassar, would have made Valletta a different story and a different city today.
The Grand Harbour and Valletta developed from a port and City of war and conflict, the symbol of the European-Christian and the Ottoman-Muslim divide of the mid-16th Century, into a principle commercial and cultural City and port of the 17 and 18th Century, bridging cultural diversities through architecture, literature, music, and trade.
This achievement is attributable only to the VISION of the founding fathers of the City, who wanted it to be, possibly, an eternal Citta’ Nuova, envisaged, not quite as a Caput Mundi, respecting the Pope and Rome, but as the Caput Mediterranea.
As a City with Mediterranean passion giving a Philosophy to Space and a vision for the City, Valletta was not repulsive to Mattia Perez d’Aleccio, Paladini, Mattia Preti, Caravaggio Cassar, Carapecchia, Andrea Belli, Gafa and others .
More than simple architecture, early or otherwise baroque for the City, we can speak of a Valletta archicultural achievement. Balance, proportion, style, contemporaneous, and meaning was given to Valletta.
It is in this regard that it becomes possible to discern the power and the origin of the city, this being on the one hand the work of men, and on the other part of context by nature. It is only with this philosophy of space that Valletta and the rebirth of Malta was founded with the Foundation of Valletta 440 year ago.
Massimiliano Finazzer Flory, of the Ottagono and Urban Centre, writing on the Milan Galleria, states that “the re-evaluation of the city, even today, passes through the re-evaluation of tradition and culture. Identity constitutes the base and the height for the construction of any urban location that aims to be more than anonymous.”