Built in 1931, the ‘Roxy Cinema’ in Birkirkara is a rare example of Art Deco in Malta, currently threatened by the construction frenzy.
‘Roxy’ draws inspiration from the typically art deco elements of the Roxy Cinema’s main façade: the verticality of the composition and the elegant geometrical motifs are re-interpreted through contemporary shapes and patterns.
Symmetry is embraced as a guiding design principle, and it is particularly visible in the proportions between the back and the seat of the bench.
CHARACTERISTICS HIGHLIGHTED IN DESIGN:
Art Deco characteristics;
Layering of air pollution on stone
‘Roxy’ is conceived as a modular piece made of interlocking elements. To obtain different colour tones evoking the different layers of pollution that have collected on the façade over the years, different mixes of recycled aggregates were tested and combined.
The final recycled limestone mixture was then poured into a striated mold which enhanced the verticality of the design of both base and back elements, while making a direct reference to Art Deco aesthetics.
‘Roxy’ will be placed in a pocket of public space sandwiched in between car parks, in front of the iconic cinema theatre at risk of being demolished by yet another uninspiring commercial development.
As long as the original building will stand, ‘Roxy’ will complement it and celebrate it, as a sentinel persisting in telling its story.