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Arch Design Award 





Tipico Building

Designed by

Ray DeMicoli / DeMicoli & Associates






Team Members:

Tipico Building

Commercial & Office Architecture

St. Julians

Ray DeMicoli / DeMicoli & Associates


Photo Credits:

Oskar Da Riz


DeMicoli & Associates, 2019

The project consisted of the redevelopment of a site, formally occupied by Portomaso Café; a single story steel frame structure, adjacent to the Portomaso Tower, an iconic building.
The footprint, wedge-like in form, comprised of a 530 m² area at the intersection of two sloping roads with a difference of height of 7.40 m. Below the existing site lay five underground floors.
The main design considerations were: 1.the building would terrace back as it rose; 2.the façade would be in a language using contemporary software and developments in construction.
The architectural massing concept was to create a soft counterpoint to the orthogonality of the existing tower, whilst leaving an open airy volume and unobstructed site lines of the two main axes leading to the Portomaso Marina and Hilton Hotel.
The building’s structure is a steel frame, using castellated beams to accommodate services. The lateral stability of the structure was obtained via a combination of shear walls and steel K-bracing. In order to reach bed rock, the columns skewered 5 floors.
The envelope of the building consists of a double glazing façade, with sun-protective film, partially protected by balconies, but it lays behind a sail-shaped frame, that is the architectural mark of the building.
The double-curvature of the external diagrid was made possible through the use of stainless steel pipes whose main purpose was to drain rain water from all the balconies.
Due to its non-linear geometry, the design required precise coordination using 3D modelling to enable the customized production of every single pipe element. The underside of the balconies were clad in aluminium, and with their wood texture and the dedicated study of their lighting, add a warmer touch to the high-tech grid. The railing of balconies were in stainless steel mesh in order to reduce their visual impact. The building envelope on the north side is completed by a ventilated façade using brick proprietary terracotta tiles.

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