Planning Authority launches latest architecture awards publication at ‘MASPtalks’ event

The Planning Authority has launched the 3rd edition of its annual publication featuring the latest Malta Architectural and Spatial Planning award prize winners and all the participating projects


The Planning Authority (PA) has launched the 3rd edition of its annual publication featuring the latest Malta Architectural and Spatial Planning (MASP) award prize winners and all the participating projects, under the Patronage of the President of Malta.

Held on 26 August, in the awe-inspiring MUŻA courtyard in Valletta, this year’s much anticipated PA activity featured a high-profile line up of speakers, including one of the UK’s top architects, Ed Hayden from Scott Brownrigg.

In his speech, Minister for Public Works and Planning Dr. Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi said, “the spirit of the MASP awards fits the type of future that the government envisages for this sector, one built on excellence and a positive contribution to society. Let these exemplary projects catalyse more positive change and serve as inspiration to others.”

The international guest speaker at this year’s MASPtalks event was UK Architect Ed Hayden, a director at Scott Brownrigg, one of the UK’s largest architectural firms with an extensive international practice.

Hayden leads teams of architects and technicians and focuses on championing sustainable design and design quality, particularly within the practice’s life science and offices sectors.

During his talk, he shared his experience championing zero carbon projects and design innovation within Scott Brownrigg and the wider industry. He stressed that, as an architect, design is an integral part of reinforcing the value of people’s lives and that, “anything we build should be a building that’s cherished”. As a first principle, “it’s all about enriching people’s lives with buildings which people care about”.

“If one cherishes something, he looks after it, so it lasts – and that’s sustainability.”

At Scott Brownrigg, research is an essential part of the design process. In fact, its Design Research Unit was founded in 1942 by Herbert Read, Misha Black and Milner Gray, making it the first consultancy to combine expertise in architecture, graphics and industrial design. The unit was responsible for some of the most iconic and recognisable brands produced in post-war Britain, from the identities for British Rail, Courage Brewery and ICI, to significant work for the London Transport Executive and Westminster’s Street signs, as well as a number of interiors for the P&O Orient Line’s new liner, the Oriana.

In his presentation, Hayden highlighted how the construction industry plays a vital role in world economy, creating, operating and maintaining its physical infrastructure. It is also a significant contributor to the world’s carbon emissions, with energy consumed at every stage of the infrastructure lifecycle.

Hayden’s recent projects include the Cambridge Science Park Bio-Hub, Arm Headquarters, Peterhouse Technology Park, Cambridge international technology park, CABI Headquarters, and the award-winning St Georges College Activity Centre.

The MASPtalks event continued with a feature by the Society for Architecture & Civil Engineering Students (SACES), which together with IAS organise the London Archivisit initiative. SACES are a faculty-based organisation representing all students within the Faculty for the Built Environment at the University of Malta.

Archivisit provides exposure for local students to experience best practices in design and project management, new technologies, site processes/procedures and green infrastructure techniques. This year’s edition, which was sponsored by the Planning Authority (PA) and the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) offered students a diverse assortment of activities, including workshops on structural engineering and architectural design, exhibitions, walking tours and site visits. The group was hosted by international reputable multi-disciplinary architectural firms and respectable educational centres, including Arup, Hilson Moran, Thornton Tomasetti, Buro Happold Engineering, MAKE, Mizzi Studio, and Bartlett School of Architecture and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

Perit Vincent Cassar, the Chairperson of the MASP Awards Jury, spoke about the benefits of the Archivisit activity overseas, describing it as “a great initiative in exposing architecture students to experience not only architecture and design from other countries but also to experience work practices.’   

While thanking all involved in making this annual event possible, particularly the support of the Planning Authority, Perit Cassar suggested that these students’ visits should, in the future, not be limited to the UK but include other countries in the EU and beyond.

Of interest:  The Planning Authority is holding an outdoor exhibition in Pjazza La Vallette to celebrate the contemporary architecture and design projects which won an award at the 2020 & 2021 MASP Awards. This exhibition will remain open till 12th September 2022.

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