MY DEFINITION OF ARCHITECTURE
I am convinced that architecture is KNOWLEDGE, in Latin, scientia. It is both an art and a science; it is the fusion of talent, wisdom and knowledge. The civilization of human kind has progressed speedily ever since records could be preserved in the form of writing as a depository of knowledge from which ideas , vision, creativity, imaginative concepts, acute powers of observation, skills, expertise and sound education emerge.
I believe and aim at a holistic knowledge of architecture at my work place, where study, logical analysis, thinking, hard work and re-thinking, encompass all elements of design, where planning, beauty, style, elegance, aesthetics, environment, nature, landscape blending, spatial perception, high quality interiors, flexibility, functionality, texture, context, comfort, social and economic needs, etc., are fused into one architectural concept which imparts a sense of harmony, delight , excitement, and leisurely ambience; a holistic stimulating experience of social interaction, not to say a transcendental one, similar to the sound of flowing water in typical Arabic architecture.
Excellence in architecture was almost always achieved by mature and knowledgeable architects at a late stage of their career, when all these design parameters are taken into account. Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo produced their masterpieces when their knowledge was at the peak of their maturity, when they were old enough to translate their profound study of anatomy into works of art and science.
EDUCATION & PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND
I qualified for an internationally recognized degree in Civil Engineering in 1970, and for a separate architectural degree in 1975, both awarded by the University of Malta. My professional background relies on a track record of 45 years of work experience in this field. I spent the first thirty years of my career in the pragmatic and organizational implementation of ideas through project management on civil, structural, piling and marine works, taking in also at the same time the architecture of most categories of buildings like residential, commercial, industrial and leisure developments. I gained particular expertise in tunnelling on the St. Julian’s , Luqa Runway and St. Vennera tunnels, and on concrete works on a massive scale on power stations and silos. I was also personally responsible during this period for the design of the Eaton Place Development in Tower Road , Sliema, The Matthew Micallef St. John Athletics Track in Marsa, The St. Aloysius Sports Complex in Birkirkara, a multi-storey Commercial Centre in Paola, the 81m high Concrete Chimney at the Marsa Power Station, marine works as a consultant to the Malta Freeport Corporation on the Mgarr and Cirkewwa Terminals, etc.
I was also a tutor of architectural design students at the University of Malta for several years, withholding academic principles and values of modern architectural thought, a board member of the Malta Transport Authority, Advisor to the Minister of Competitiveness on Harbour Works and Land use Policy, a member of the British Institution of Civil Engineers, a member of the Technical Committee of the Building Industry Consultative Council and a Board member of MEPA’s Development Control Commission for six years. The latter appointment helped to infuse in me a wider sense of urban planning and design.
SKILLS & CONTRIBUTION
Since joining the DeMicoli practice as an associate about ten years ago, my role has become that of a consultant. Apart from my long architectural and civil engineering experience, I am particularly proficient in cost consultancy, property valuations of any size and complexity, the economic feasibility of most architectural developments of the practice at planning stage, contract management, site supervision and lead architect on various other projects. I managed to attract new customers to the practice through my sense of loyalty to the firm and through my work ethic. I am at the moment at a mature stage of my career, and I relish the frequent opportunities of imparting my knowledge to my younger colleagues. Some challenging projects on which I have worked in this practice are Palm City, The Atrium Showroom and Retail Centre, Mriehel, The Wurth Offices and Showroom at Zebbug, The Restoration of the old St. Julian’s Boathouses, The San Anton Palace Exhibition Hall, Apartment blocks etc.
I matured into a senior architect at DeMicoli & Associates through my loyalty and contribution to the practice by focusing on teaming up with my colleagues to create architecture with a capital A, aiming at achieving the goal of the best standards of design for the customer, the ultimate beneficiary of my work and services which are effectively transmitted to the customer through my thirst for knowledge, even to this day, emanating from art and science in the fascinating realm of architecture.
My hobbies are also related to my thirst for knowledge. I have written a book on Maltese cartography, edited a book on fire standards, and published several articles on Maltese history and architecture in books, authoritative journals and newspapers. I have a passion for sports, but I love books, books and again books, which I consider sacred objects and treasure troves of knowledge, now complemented by that fantastic global digital information tool called the internet.