When Malta's Azure Window collapsed into the Mediterranean in 2017, it sparked widespread grief across the country. Now a new architectural design concept by Svetozar Andreev and Elena Britanishskaya proposes a futuristic building where the limestone arch once stood.

Travel News - The Heart of Malta
The Heart of Malta building could replace Malta's Azure Window.

Malta's Azure Window near Dwejra Bay on Gozo, an island in the Maltese archipelago, was one of the most recognisable locations in Europe. The limestone arch featured in films such as Clash of the Titans, The Count of Monte Cristo and featured as the backdrop the the Dothraki wedding between Daenerys Targaryen and Khal Drogo in Game of Thrones. It was also notorious as a cliff-jumping location.

Travel News - The Heart of Malta
The Heart of Malta will serve as a tourist destination.

The Azure Window , collapsed into the Mediterranean in March 2017 after heavy storms, sparking widespread grief on the island. Malta’s prime minister Joseph Muscat said its loss was “heartbreaking”. The loss of the national landmark was particularly tough for the island of Gozo, which depended on it to draw tourists. Now Svetozar Andreev, who runs Russian architecture firm Hotei Russia, has proposed the ‘Heart of Malta’; a project that plans to create a new tourist destination and visual landmark in place of its predecessor.

Travel News - The Heart of Malta
The Heart of Malta will celebrate Maltese culture and history.

Andreev has proposed a building in polygonal architectural form with mirrored steel faces. Despite the futuristic design, the building will blend into the landscape and have the same size and proportions as the original limestone arch. Andreev is collaborating with architect Elena Britanishskaya on the project. The duo have designed over 5000 square meters of exhibition space laid out over five spiral floors, with a dynamic laser show in which each spiral step represents 1000 years of Maltese history, making the building not only a stunning architectural feat but a celebration of Maltese culture.

Travel News - The Heart of Malta
The Heart of Malta's futuristic design will blend into the landscape.

"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," Andreev said in a statement. The proposal has been submitted to the Maltese authorities and initial polls suggest there is a lot of public interest in the plan.

For more information, or to stay up-to-date with the plans, see here.

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MDINA, MALTA - October 2018: Massive stone city entrance gate, ancient town of Mdina, Malta; Shutterstock ID 1634278489; your: Brian Healy; gl: 65050; netsuite: Lonely Planet Online Editorial; full: Things to know before Malta

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