Zaha Hadid Architects recently unveiled a new skyscraper for a tourist area in Malta. Named Mercury Tower, it features a distinctive twisting form and, assuming it goes ahead, will be joined onto an existing building on the site that was originally constructed in the early 20th century.
Mercury Tower is the main part of a development that will also involve renovating a derelict building called Mercury House, which was originally built in 1903, and will be connected to the skyscraper and serve as an entrance and meeting area. A new public square with seating and water features will be created, too.
Mercury Tower will comprise a total of 31 stories. Its lower floors will be given over to apartment space, while up near the middle of the building will be a transitional area that twists and includes an outdoor pool. The upper part of the tower will host upmarket hotel rooms with a view toward the sea.
According to ZHA, Mercury Tower's twisting design ensures that public space is maximized at ground level, as well as reducing solar heat gain. It was also created with local wind conditions in mind.
Mercury Tower was designed by Hadid herself, along with longterm collaborator and current ZHA boss Patrik Schumacher. It's being hailed by developers J. Portelli Projects as one of her last works before her death, but we wouldn't be surprised if we continue to see new Hadid-designed buildings emerge in the next few years.
We're awaiting word from ZHA that the project will definitely go ahead, though local newspaper Malta Independent reports that planning permission has already been granted, so it looks likely.
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