What used to be the old slaughterhouse at the bottom part of Valletta, from next month will become the Valletta Design Cluster – a project which will represent another lasting heritage in the series of initiatives taken when Valletta was the European Culture Capital two years ago. The Valletta Design Cluster will be a creative and artistic space which has the aim of promoting creative expression in Malta.
At the end of summer, a €10 million project will be inaugurated, partially financed by EU funds, near the Auberge de’ Baviere.
The building, which during the time of the Knights served as a slaughterhouse and which, according to historical documents, was used as barracks for soldiers during the British era, was also used by operators in the manufacturing sector, such as those who worked in cotton.
After the building was abandoned for many years, in 2016, the Valletta 2018 Foundation identified it as an ideal space to promote Valletta’s cultural and historical character.
“As the Valletta Cultural Agency, we are focusing on the connection between how we want to use the place today and the reasons it was used in the past. We saw that this place could be used as a space for creativity, but also for the community which lives here. Over the last few years the Government has placed a lot of emphasis on regenerating this part of Valletta, and this is part of that regeneration”, said the CEO the Valletta Cultural Agency, Catherine Tabone.
This concept has started taking life, and is being transformed into a space for the Valletta community and for artists to continue developing their cultural and artistic identity.
The restoration and improvement of this building is in its last phases, so that within a few weeks, the project which is split into three levels, can be inaugurated. The ground floor level offers a space for common facilities which can be used by residents, students, self-employed, artists and others who work in the cultural and creative sector.
On the other floors, there will be areas which will serve as offices, studios and culinary spaces.
The Manager of the Valletta Design Cluster, Caldon Mercieca, said that the spaces are meant to offer facilities to those who wish to develop their talents with an emphasis on developing personalised designs from multi-disciplinary perspectives.
“These are spaces which at the moment do not exist in terms of accessibility in the cultural and creative sectors and are intended to help provide a platform to those who wish to launch an initiative in the culinary arts, manufacturing in the cultural sector and creativity in various fields,” said Mr Mercieca.
The Valletta Design Cluster will have a roof garden with a Mediterranean theme which will be designed by Japanese experts and will be accessible to the public.