Whether it's night time entertainment with bars and restaurants or daytime relaxation with family and friends SmartCity Malta offers it all and envisions becoming one of Malta's hottest spots for the forthcoming year. Dana Bonello speaks to Robert Shakespeare, Project Director at Cracknell.
SmartCity Malta's pulse is gathering momentum as construction activities for its lagoon district are swiftly moving ahead. The area will feature a picturesque central water body incorporating the surroundings of public spaces and urban destinations.
"Whenever we begin working on a project, it is very important for us to understand the local scenario," attests Robert. "Certainly, with a project of the sort we could have definitely not ignored the vital role the sea plays and it is with this in mind that we have produced a design which captures sea views and incorporates them in the complete design almost with natural grace."
In the heart of the development, stands the manmade lagoon feature. Coupled with jet fountains and aesthetics, this body serves an environmental function by collecting the rainwater in a harvesting tank, aggregating the entire developments of storm water run-off in one localised area. The rainwater will then be recycled and utilised within the premises of SmartCity Malta.
Robert tells me that a lot of thought was placed in the actual positioning of the lagoon. "The challenge here was to ensure that the entire blueprint was both functional as well as aesthetically pleasing. To this end we have included split levels which run through the buildings and link up with the grand stairs and of course, the lagoon."
Inspired by Rome's Spanish Steps, the Grand Stairs will be able to accommodate around 1,000 people and lead to an amphitheatre which has been designed with live entertainment gigs in mind. "We really wanted to add a ‘feel good factor' to the entire project. The fountain found in the lagoon for instance will be an attraction in itself once completed, as well as the various open spaces which breathe new life into the project. We do not want SmartCity Malta to be simply an enterprising business hub, but strongly feel that by incorporating a lifestyle factor, we will be in a position to offer a unique recreational area in the south of the Island," he states.
According to Robert, the coastal edge will also form an integral part of the project, giving a sense of tranquility to the project. "This will include a 50 meter wide infinity edge, offering unobstructed sea views and giving patrons the sense of space and freedom we have associated with SmartCity Malta."
Leisurely by day, offering the premise of relaxation, shopping and dining and vibrant and sparkling at night, I'd say that all in all, following completion, SmartCity Malta will offer some serious competition to its counterparts in other areas of the Island.
Headquartered in Dubai, Cracknell operate design centres in London, Abu Dhabi, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Cracknell have been selected by SmartCity as Landscape Architects for their development in Kalkara, Malta.