Xewkija modernist building given protection status by Planning Authority
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The Planning Authority has recently given protection status to the Administration Building of the former milk factory in Xewkija, Gozo- as a scheduled Grade 2 building, including a buffer zone.
The 1950s modernist building, designed by the renowned Maltese Architect Joseph Huntingford (1926-1994), is located in Triq l-Imgarr and Triq il-Pitkali in Xewkija, Gozo. The building itself is made of exceptional architectural elements, all mirroring the Modernist Movement.
The Authority said that in the 1950’s and early sixties, Huntingford was the architect engaged by the government for the design and construction of some of its most important buildings in Gozo, such as the milk factory in Xewkija and also governmental schools, for instance the Qala Primary School, which is said to be one of the finest modern architecture examples on the island.
“Huntingford’s architectural design follows an international trend of the times, which is known as Modernist. The approach used is characterised by a streamline design, devoid of any ornamentation, using cantilevered canopies and window hoods only possible by the use of concrete whilst keeping within classical architectural rules such as proportion, rhythm, balance, symmetry, purity of lines, juxtaposing solids and voids ratios, play of light and shade,” said the PA.
Moreover, the Authority added, Huntingford’s hallmark is his capability of inserting local characteristics in the design of his Modernist buildings. In the Administration Building of the milk factory, he uses a concave facade, inspired by the curved megalithic temples facades of the Maltese Islands, the pseudo rubble wall effect motif on the facade, as well as the use of ‘vernacular’ or most commonly found simple materials, such as the concrete brick common at the time, in creating the brise soleil corridors which shelter users from the elements and filter natural light.