Zaha Hadid Architects has released plans for a 167-foot-high tower to rise at Paceville on Malta’s northern coast, on a site that has been derelict for 20 years, dezeen reports. The building’s projected height would make it the Mediterranean country’s tallest building. Called Mercury Tower, the planned 31-story tower surpasses Malta’s current tallest tower–the nearby Portomaso Business Tower–by nearly 48 feet.
Designed by the late Zaha Hadid and Patrik Schumacher, who currently heads the practice, the 264,000 square-foot tower will have residential apartments on its lower nine floors with hotel rooms on the upper 19; a unique twist in the building’s middle will separate the two areas and allow the ground level to integrate with the surrounding street, while at the same time providing the building’s hotel rooms with sea views. The firm said, "Conceived as two volumes stacked vertically, the tower incorporates a realignment that expresses the different functional programmes within. Creating new public spaces and amenities for the island's residents and visitors, the design responds to Paceville's key urban challenges by investing in its civic realm and increasing its limited housing supply."
The floors between the two spaces will hold the hotel’s common and public spaces such as its reception area and an outdoor pool overlooking the sea. At street level the new tower will incorporate the original early 20th century Mercury House building into its base. An adjacent piazza will be the site of a central water feature offering seating and a four-story building that will house cafes and shops. Another structure–a glass-walled cafe pavilion–will also be built alongside Mercury House.
Images via Zaha Hadid Architects