Architect Edwin Mintoff has been awarded one of the world’s most prestigious design awards: The European Prix Versailles Special Prize for the design of the Cugó Gran Macina Grand Harbour in Senglea, Malta; in the category of Exterior Hotel Design.

The Prix Versailles World Architecture and Design Awards are compiled at the headquarters of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris, and encompasses several categories, with the winners being selected by an independent judges panel. Awards are given in recognition of the best projects around the world and winners are rewarded for their extraordinary architecture and design.

Built in 1554 during the reign of Grand Master Claude de la Sengle, the Maċina was originally used to hoist and fit ships’ masts; and was a focal point of the development of the fortified city of Senglea in south-eastern Malta. The Maċina’s sympathetic restoration and repurposing makes it a standout with all of the hotel’s 21 luxurious suites featuring harbour and marina views.

Architect Dr Edwin Mintoff wisely chose to leave exposed many of the Maċina’s ample historical elements, including such oddities as the 3.5-metre walk to some of the windows that reveals the full depth of the impenetrable limestone fortifications. The firm was already awarded both the National Trust of Malta, Din l’Art Helwa prize for the rehabilitation and re-use of buildings and the Malta Architect Award in the category of Hospitality, Tourism Accommodation and Leisure for the project. The Cugó Gran Macina Grand Harbour forms part of the luxury Cugo Gran sub brand of international IBB Hotel Collection, with 13 hotels in Germany, Spain, Poland and Malta.

Cugó Gran Maċina Grand Harbour’s suites are a glorious achievement, subtly transformed from medieval industrial quarters to comfortably cool, designer accommodation. The five-metre-high vaulted stone ceilings are jaw dropping. The poured concrete floors that root the structural design are a clever touch, as are the additional areas of laid slate, lava stone and Maltese hard stone – textural elements that are soft underfoot, and also present the spaces as cooling cocoons to protect guests from the warm climate.

Cugó Gran Maċina Grand Harbour
Macina, Triq il-31 ta’ Marzu L-Isla (Senglea), Malta
Tel +356 2711 2711

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