Malta’s ‘Azure Window’, which once stood as an icon of the Maltese islands, crumbled into the sea from a storm in 2017.

In aims of breathing new life into the damaged landmark, Hoteì Russia—design studio headed by architect-cum-interior designer Svetozar Andreev—has collaborated with architect Elena Britanishskaya to propose a restoration of the arch using a mirrorless steel structure.

The project, dubbed ‘The Heart of Malta’, comprises a polygonal structure with a mirrored steel façade to “blend into the landscape,” according to Andreev. It will house 5,000 square meters of exhibition space laid out across five spiral floors. A dynamic laser performance will project a thousand years of Maltese history through each spiral step.

“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,” wrote Andreev on Archilovers.

The plan made headlines across local media after being submitted to Maltese authorities. According to an online poll being conducted by Malta Today, 68 percent responded in favor of the development, while 38 percent are against the idea and concerned that the project will damage the surrounding natural environment, which lies within a marine park.

Andreev explained that the team intends to use “the latest techniques and materials available in architecture and shipbuilding,” so as to maintain the existing natural coastal environment while turning the project into reality.

[via Times of Malta and Archilovers, video via svetozar andreev, main image via video screenshot]

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