The Valletta Design Cluster is an important legacy project of Valletta 2018, European Capital of Culture and serves as a community space for cultural and creative practice situated in the renovated Old Abattoir in Valletta.

  • Valletta



  • European Regional Development Fund


    European Regional Development Fund

  • Sustainable Urban Development


    Sustainable Urban Development

  • €10,400,000

    Cost of Project


  • €4,300,000

    Total EU Allocation


The scope of this project included the restoration of the historic Old Abattoir building, its conversion into a community creative hub, the resurfacing of the adjacent streets, and the creation of a publicly accessible rooftop garden.  This investment results in the rehabilitation of approximately 3000m2 of community space, as well as enhancing Malta’s social innovation, cultural engagement, and economic wellbeing.

While the creative artists are the key direct beneficiaries of this project, an essential element of the regeneration of the area was to give a new lease of life to the lower Valletta community, thereby improving the quality of life and social cohesion in the surroundings.

As part of Malta’s effort to propel the creative economy as an important contributor of growth, the converted site incorporates different spaces that contribute to building a vibrant creative hub of activity. Spaces equipped with tools and digital fabrication equipment, a co-working area for students and individuals active in the cultural sphere, a food space, several meeting rooms and conference facilities, as well as fifteen studios for longer-term engagement with collectives and organisations are housed within the cluster.

One also finds an original functional oven dating back to when the building served the Diu Balli community, one of the remaining two ovens from the original eight.

Supported through a multi-million injection of EU funds, VDC was conceived to improve the urban environment for Valletta residents and to serve as an empowerment platform for Malta’s burgeoning cultural and creative operators. The building focuses on design, entrepreneurship and social impact, while supporting and promoting user-centric design as a catalyst for innovation and as a multi-disciplinary approach that can create positive impacts for communities and individuals.

Apart from having spaces dedicated to the community and NGOs, the Valletta Design Cluster (VDC) also includes an innovative green roof in the capital city, which will be open to both residents and visitors and which will be fully accessible through a dedicated lift at street level. This initiative will add another green space to Valletta’s urban fabric in the heart of its lower residential area. The garden has been designed by Tetsuo Kondo Architects from Japan, in collaboration with the Faculty for the Built Environment at the University of Malta.

This was created and maintained with the financial support of the European Union.

Its contents are the sole responsibility of and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union

A Ci Consulta project managed by Comuniq.EU - designed by Bold Identities - Photos - Corporate Identities, DOI