A two-phase project located in Malta. The most iconic feature of which is the twisted area at levels 9 to 11.

Project information

Name of Project: Mercury Towers

Date (year): Project Phase One: 2017-2023

Client: Mercury Contracting Projects Ltd

Location: St. Julian’s (Malta)



Project summary

A two-phase project located in Malta. Phase One is a 70.000m2 31-storey residential tower, the most iconic feature of which is the twisted area at levels 9 to 11. Phase Two is a 65.000m2 22-storey, multi-use tower and podium structure. Both phases share a common basement. The podium structure is located between the towers and directly over two historical vaults, constructed during the cold war era. Additionally, there is an existing  listed building located on the plot, Mercury House, which has been renovated and incorporated into the whole design.

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Project details

Mercury Towers is an iconic project, being Phase One tower its most prominent feature. Its form, with vertical lines and a unique twist, can be seen and identified from far. Phase Two introduces some contrasting greenery to the area and vast open spaces.

The design of the structure of the towers is aimed at maximizing net areas, resulting in a solution that combines a central core with the portal frame action possible with deep column sections. This is aligned and suits the architectural strategy for inner space and balcony definition.

The tower design takes into consideration earthquake loads, as well as high winds and exposure to the sea environment. A detailed CFD analysis was carried out, in order to more accurately define load values and be efficient in the structural design.

In addition, Phase Two tower is partially built over the existing cold war vaults, resulting in challenging transfer structures to solve the foundations.

The choice of materials for the structure was made after discussions with the client and his in-house construction team, taking into consideration the available resources on the island. As formwork market leaders, Peri provided invaluable input regarding temporary support for slab construction, as well as for the cores.

The construction of the six-storey basement had important challenges, but benefited from the limestone bedrock prevalent across the site, which implied that barely any retaining system was needed. The site perimeter could be cut with large circular saws. Only in specific places where the rock presented occasional faults were anchors necessary, under the supervision of a local geotechnical engineer.

Given the high bearing capacity of limestone, the foundations could be relatively simple. We water conditions and its aggressiveness were taken into consideration in the definition of the specific concrete to be used.

Because of limited rainfall on the island, water tanks were installed in the lowest levels, to store water.

Although the structure is essentially solved in concrete, some key elements have been developed in steel. The most notable element is the three-story high, three-dimensional structural truss that supports, generates and allows the twist. This is an important element, given there is a 6 to 7m adjustment on plan of some columns and floor edges, all happening at more than 50m above ground level.

The design implements the concepts of low impact on carbon footprint, as well as circularity, seeking a Zero Carbon design, starting from the choice of materials and implementing bioclimatic strategies that allow cataloging the building as Net Zero Building.

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