The Planning Commission within the Planning Authority has approved permits for restoration to commence on the unique concrete structure which used to serve as a water storage tank for washing purposes at the Marsa abattoir.
The water storage tank had been constructed in the thirties using reinforced concrete, an innovative technology at the time, and is considered a unique example of its kind, with this factor alone being considered for saving it. This because the tank in the form of a tower in the abattoir yard had stopped being used in the 70s, and there had even been plans to demolish it.
However, the tower with the tank on top of it which can hold 300 cubic metres of water will now be restored, following a joint effort by the University of Malta’s faculty for the built environment and the abattoir administration, as the structure has been evaluated and is being considered an important monument to Malta’s industrial heritage, even because of the technique used in the 30s to build it.
Before permits were issued by the Planning Commission, the University’s faculty for the built environment carried out a study about the intervention required. The faculty will remain involved in its restoration, together with the Environment Ministry.
The restoration permit also provides for this particular restoration to serve as a research project. This had been explained to TVM some time ago by Dr Reuben Paul Borg from the Faculty for the Built Environment.
“The interventions we plan on carrying out will include the use of advanced materials, new quality materials with a high element of innovation, as well as the introduction of absolutely new technology for Malta to safeguard its structural strength for the future in order to interpret this structure and how it will perform in the future through the use of sensors,” Dr Borg explained.
The structure has been extensively damaged, both through the ravages of time and because sea water had been used, which added to the damage to the mesh netting within the structure, besides the fact that it has now lain abandoned for 40 years. In light of the importance of the project, the Planning Authority has also agreed to make good for part of the restoration expenses.