Malta embraces smart technologies
Paul Camilleri & Associates
Unveiled in 2007, the Smartcity Malta project to build a technology park funded by Dubai Holdings has the aim of reviving the island’s economy by transforming the former Ricasoli Industrial Estate in Kalkara into an information technology cluster. The project is expected to create more than 8,500 jobs and has two main goals: firstly to create a Regional ICT Cluster in the heart of the Mediterranean capable of attracting international companies operating in the fields of software, internet and multimedia, telecommunications, IT services, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and hardware; secondly to build a neighbourhood that offers an excellent quality of life, sustainable buildings, a network of open green spaces designed for relaxation and socialisation, business services, medical facilities, schools, childcare facilities, recreational services, hotels and gyms.
The masterplan, created by the Maltese practice Paul Camilleri & Associates in cooperation with the British urban design firm Colin Buchanan & Partners and the Dubai-based landscaping firm Cracknell, covers a 360,000 square metre area, one third of which is set aside for public space and another third is assigned to offices and services. The architectural project, awarded to Paul Camilleri & Associates, is now 20% complete and so far has made extensive use of Italian surface coverings. Almost 10,000 square metres of large-format porcelain tiles from Ceramiche Keope have been installed on the ventilated facades of the second office building and on the floors in the areas devoted to the shopping centre, amphitheatre and lagoon. Bearing the GreenThinking logo to symbolise commitment to the environment and human well-being and therefore perfectly in keeping with the eco-friendly goals of a smartcity, these tiles were chosen for many different reasons, as Paul Camilleri explained. These included ease of installation, resistance to aggressive environmental conditions, minimal annual maintenance requirements, the ability to remove or replace individual elements when necessary, and a favourable quality-to-price ratio given the large quantity of material required to cover the exterior public spaces that are such an essential part of Smartcity Malta. Located a short distance from the Grand Harbour and the imposing walls of the capital Valletta, the project needed to blend harmoniously into the landscape. For this reason, the architect opted for the aesthetic potential of porcelain, choosing the Sunrise collection in the warm, natural Golden, Quartz and Smoke colours to contrast pleasingly with the blue of the sea and to resonate with the colours and finishes of the island’s limestone buildings.
Ceramiche Keope, Sunrise
120x60 e 30x60 cm
Golden, Quartz, Smoke
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): ≤ 0,1%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): compliant
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): ≤ 145 mm3
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): ≥ 45 N/mm3
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R9 (NAT)
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant