THE HEART OF MALTA / AZURE WINDOW MEMORIAL MUSEUM  It-Tieqa Żerqa, more popularly known as the Azure Window, was an icon of the Maltese islands. Following a storm in March of 2017, the arch collapsed into the sea, and there was no way to restore it.


However, we have a plan to give this symbol a new life:

The Heart Of Malta is a polygonal architectural form with mirrored steel faces, which will blend into the landscape, and have the same size and proportions as the original limestone arch. Within this form we have designed over 5,000 square meters of exhibition space laid out over five spiral floors, with a dynamic laser show in which each spiral step represents one thousand years of Maltese history. For the project, we propose to make use of the latest techniques and materials available in architecture and shipbuilding to reflect the environment of Dwejra, which will enable us to bring the project to reality while preserving the existing natural coastal landscape. The design was officially submitted to the Maltese authorities at the beginning of 2019. 

"It will be a perfect monument and symbol of the fusion of modernity and nature, of time and history, and a testament to the tenacity of the human spirit."- Svetozar Andreev

Idea, Architecture and Interior Design: architect Svetozar Andreev. 

Сopyright © Svetozar Andreev, 2018-2020. All rights reserved.

Assistant: interior decorator Elena Britanishskaya.

"The project objective is to compensate for the loss of the famous Azure Window, and to create a centre of attraction in Dwejra (San Lowrenz, Gozo),

a new asset to draw tourists, this time to a new architectural and cultural landmark. We are confident that this project represents an outstanding investment for the future of Malta and Gozo."- Svetozar Andreev

"It has to be said that from the very start it was clear to me that the project has the potential to become not only an architectural and cultural landmark for Malta and Gozo, but also an outstanding location for the fashion and film industries. I would like to emphasise this aspect for both film-makers and the government

of Malta, a country with close and long-established links to the international film industry. I am confident that, as a cultural centre, the Heart of Malta will bring in additional revenue to the country, and will reimburse the investment made in its construction through regular international cultural events, concerts, fashion shows and television broadcasts, as well as through its appeal as a location for making advertisements, music videos and films."- Svetozar Andreev

Svetozar Andreev, Architect and Interior Designer,

CEO in Hotei-Russia / The Svetozar Andreev Architectural Studio,

Author of The Heart Of Malta Project.


CONTEMPORARY SOCIETY NEEDS NEW SYMBOLS Times have changed, and we no longer build, as we did during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, cathedrals which symbolised our spiritual victory over death, chaos and destruction, and which embodied the extent of what humankind could achieve at that time.

Constructed to the very limit of what could be achieved with the technology and materials available at the time, they reflected the image and impression of the world of contemporary society that was oft repeated in frescoes, stained-glass windows, sculpture and music. They were centres in which was reflected the understanding of the past and the relationship towards the present of the people who built them.


Since that time, our perception of the world around us has altered radically, our horizons have broadened, and today we possess limitless opportunities thanks to the materials, technologies and means of expression that we now command. However, the greater the possibilities, the more frequently we show a complete helplessness when faced with the task of synthesising our knowledge and world view into a unified whole which extends beyond the bounds of the utilitarian, and it often seems that the people who built those cathedrals were a great deal bolder then than we are now.


Nevertheless, we cannot refute the fact that modern society needs new symbols which reflect the same issues which confronted the people who built beautiful cities many centuries ago, moreover we understand that we cannot live on monuments to the past alone, and we are now confronted with the necessity to create new projects which reflect the epoch in which we are living. These thoughts form the principal motive which led us to create the Heart of Malta complex, a monument which bears within its form a reminder of the merciless power and unpredictability of nature, and is intended to become what the cathedrals of the past became – the quintessence of our contemporary culture as it desperately strives to break the bounds of what it possible.


We see this project as an open window into the future, and a proud response to the vicissitudes of our own history and destiny.


I would like to remind those who separate the terms “natural” and “human” when discussing integration of structures into a natural context, that a human

being’s consciousness is also a part of nature, and also lives according to her immutable laws, and that such a separation looks at the very least presumptive.

We are, after all, also a part of nature, just one which possesses self-awareness and the ability to interpret that which occurs around us.In spite of the superficial impression of being in conflict with the environment, what we have in this project is an example of the ultimate conceptual and architectural integration of a structure into its physical context, meaning that here we can speak of a successful solution which goes beyond the bounds of the concept of urbanisation. The image of an Azure Window built from steel, one which reflects the sky, the land, and the sea – this is a very powerful image.


Therefore we are confident that we have been able to fully and faithfully reflect in our project the interaction of humanity and nature, the theme of downfall and prevailing, as a fundamental leitmotif for contemporary culture, having created an architectural design with its own drama and story, and whose familiar silhouette, in the edges of which reality itself dissolves, will intrigue and fascinate many people all over the world, and will reflect in the best possible way the spirit of Malta’s past.

Svetozar Andreev




“This presentation sets out to showcase class-leading companies with proven worldwide track records wich are either ready,

or considering the opportunity to take part in THE HEART OF MALTA exhibition complex project. These companies

are united not only by the impeccable quality of their work, but also by their overall philosophy and design aesthetic.

I am convinced that together they will produce an outstanding end-product that will enable us to fully realise

the fundamental concept of the project – to create a new architectural and cultural landmark for Malta and Gozo.”

Svetozar Andreev, CEO in Hotei-Russia Studio, architect, author of the Heart Of Malta Project 


"We beleive the Heart Of Malta Project could be an ambitious and interesting challenge where to join the your great ideas and inspirations with Flos philosophy into something very unique" 

Carlo Moro

             Flos S.p.A. Commercial Director              Architectural & Outdoor Collections.

"This project will be the pride of the country of Malta, its attraction, the only in the world, and will mesmerize not only Maltese, but also tourists from other countries. And I will definitely be among them."

Alec Groysman

PhD, Doctor of Chemistry.

The Chairman of the Israeli Society of Chemical Engineers and Chemists.

"From Vondom, we would like to emphasize that the fact of being able to participate in this unique project of such magnitude and dimension, offering the possibility of creating a space with no precedent and difficult to replicate, is a privilege and at the same timea challenge, which makes those who participate in such an event proud, as creators of dreams"

Ricardo Martin

 Vondom S.L.U,

General Commercial Director. 






Opinions expressed in articles within this media set are those of their owners and may not reflect

the opinion of the Svetozar Andreev Studio / Hotei-Russia





Alec Groysman, PhD, Doctor of Chemistry.

The Chairman of the Israeli Society of Chemical Engineers and Chemists,

Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel. 





“Would you play Nocturne on a drainpipe flute?” (Vladimir Mayakovsky, a Soviet poet, 1893-1930)


I have never been to Malta, although I live at the Mediterranean Sea, in Israel, in the small settlement of Shekhaniya at the top of a mountain of the same name, 30 km north to Haifa. We can see the caves of Rosh Ha-Nikra from my house, formed by the waves of the Mediterranean Sea. Despite the fact that seawater is a habitat for fauna and flora, it is very dangerous for the living and inanimate world. I went down many times into these calcareous caves and observed how the forms of solid rocks were changed with time. And the moment will come when the halls and vaults will collapse under the constant rushes of the waves. So what? Will this natural beauty perish?


Yesterday morning I accidentally stumbled upon the “Heart of Malta” – a small article on the Internet. About brave, original, no analogies, the project of restoring the sea capes destroyed by nature. A Russian architect with the epic name Svetozar (meaning “illuminated with light”) Andreev from St. Petersburg, Russia, proposed a fantastic, non-trivial, innovative solution. The small country of Malta situated in the center of the Mediterranean Sea had a beautiful “Azure Window” as one of the symbols of Malta. How many beautiful movies were filmed with this 29-meter window arch?! However, the waves and the wind destroyed this charming “window” on March 8, 2017.

Why not restore it? With benefits for art and nature. So, for humans. I was shocked by the brave decision to compensate for what could not be saved in time for the enjoyment of future generations.


I have been engaged for many years in the choice of materials and their resistance, deliver lectures at the Technion (Israel Institute of Technology) and at other universities around the world.


I would think about a concrete structure. However, the architect Svetozar Andreev proposed to recreate the “Azure Window” from the metal. This solution is much more environmentally friendly, more elegant, and more durable. His proposal to create the Cultural Center of Future Arts, Technologies and Sciences within the 5-stories metal construction is the right approach to the development and preservation of our spiritual values. I see in this Center an awesome interaction between the “three cultures”. This is a jump into the future. I am sure this will be the new symbol of Malta. How far-sighted the government of Malta will be if it implements this unique project!?


Someone will ask why to interfere with nature or create an eclectic mix of architecture and nature? Please, recall how either the Parisians resisted the construction of the Eiffel Tower or Israelis of Calatrava String Bridge at the entrance to Jerusalem. Today they are the symbols of these countries, modern culture, successes of our society, its achievements.

I am sure that the same will happen to the unique and harmonious project of Svetozar, who successfully named it “The Heart of Malta”. Of course, it must be made of modern corrosion and erosion resistant alloys and composite materials. I as a specialist in this field see the solution. But this should be a separate reflection. Now I know who I will address to if the Rosh Ha-Nikra caves are destroyed.




I have been dealing for 40 years with the subject of corrosion of materials and their selection for various conditions with great pleasure. I always like to start with definitions. Corrosion is the interaction of materials (usually metals) with the environment, leading to the deterioration of the functional properties of metals and the state of the environment.


Today, probably, there are no people who in one or another way would not be faced corrosion at home, at the neighbors or at work. Architects should constantly deal with the selection of materials, their properties and behavior, prevention of destruction, and their durability. Therefore, knowledge of the basics of corrosion is an important aspect of their professional life. I constantly follow the use of metals in architecture, as this is a part of my corrosion course, which I deliver in different countries.


Several days ago, quite by chance, I got acquainted with the project of the architect Svetozar Andreev from St. Petersburg, Russia. He proposed to restore the “Azure Window” in Malta, have been destroying by the waves of the Mediterranean Sea two years ago, from metal and composite materials, and thus to complete the disturbed natural ensemble. It intrigued me, and I wanted to find out which metal was talked about. I found quickly the address of Svetozar, who wrote to me that it’s about stainless steel or titanium.


About 10 years ago, I wrote the book “Corrosion for Everybody”, published by Springer. And then two more books about the durability of materials, the reasons for their destruction, and how to increase their service life came to life. I write in these books about the experience of using stainless steels and titanium, corrosion problems and their solutions.


The rich experience of the application of both alloys has accumulated in architecture and in constructions. The Chrysler Building of 77 floors in New York was built from austenitic stainless steel in 1928-1930. The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, was made from titanium in the late 20th century. People enjoy observing the beauty of these buildings.


What about the water of the Mediterranean Sea? There is much less data. Titanium can be used in seawater. What about stainless steels? There are almost 300 species of stainless steels. They all differ in structure, chemical composition, mechanical properties, resistance to seawater and the atmosphere, microorganisms, and erosion. What is dangerous in using stainless steel in seawater? The factors determining the stability of these steels in water are: the chemical composition of the medium, the flow rate (oh, these waves!), temperature, oxygen concentration, the presence of microorganisms, and contact with other materials.

Firstly, stainless steel in the “Azure Window” will be in contact with four different environments: underwater soil, seawater, the water-atmosphere interface, and the sea atmosphere. Secondly, there are chlorides in all these environments - anions that cause pitting and crevice corrosion. In addition, it is necessary to consider other possible forms of corrosion: chloride stress corrosion cracking, microbiological corrosion, erosion, and galvanic corrosion. For stainless steels, an important element of their effective performance and durability is final surface preparation and passivation. Nowadays, there are technologies of applying nano-coatings onto the stainless steel surface to increase their resistance to the harsh environment. Unfortunately, the data about the resistance of stainless steels in seawater in the literature are controversial. My personal experience with stainless steels and new data suggest that austenitic steels with a molybdenum content of more than 4-6% and Duplex steels can be used to implement the “Heart of Malta” project. Of course, some additional research is needed. Then we will be able to realize the connection and interaction between different arts and to turn the “frozen music” of architecture into a Grand Cultural Center that attracts people of different interests and ages. This project will be the pride of the country of Malta, its attraction, the only in the world, and will mesmerize not only Maltese, but also tourists from other countries.


And I will definitely be among them.



"Over this short period, a great deal of additional information relating to the Heart of Malta has come to light, which I would like to share now.

 1)  There has been a very active and enthusiastic response to our project in the international press. Since begginning of 2019, over hundred articles have appeared in some of the largest international and local media outlets, including CNN International, CNN Japan, CNN Greece, The Daily Mail, The Telegraph, Condé Nast Traveller, GEO France, Le Figaro, ELLE, National Geographic, La Stampa, BILD, The NZ Herald, La Vanguardia, in in-flight magazines of Alitalia Airlines, Condor / Thomas Cook Airlines and many others, included those devoted to architecture and design. For us, this level of press attention is further confirmation that our project is of great interest to the public, and that it fully meets the objective we set ourselves at the outset: “to create a new centre of attraction in Dwejra with an architectural and cultural landmark.”

2) We have received a huge number of responses from readers of the articles set out above, and many letters from the residents of Malta. I would particularly like to draw your attention to some of them here:

-Among the comments and observations on the Heart of Malta project, I have noticed the phrase “James Bond’s new residence” crops up quite often. It has to be said that from the very start it was clear to me that the project has the potential to become not only an architectural and cultural landmark for Malta and Gozo, but also an outstanding location for the fashion and film industries. I would like to emphasise this aspect for both film-makers and the government of Malta, a country with close and long-established links to the international film industry. I am confident that, as a cultural centre, the Heart of Malta will generat additional revenue for the country, and will reimburse the investment made in its construction through regular international cultural events, concerts, fashion shows and television broadcasts, as well as through its appeal as a location for making advertisements, music videos and films.

- Of particular interest to us were the letters from Maltese people working in Dwejra, requesting that we incorporate a glass floor into the lower level of the complex, or at least glass elements, which would enable visitors to see the remnants of the original Azure Window, which at present can only be seen by divers. These requests are a clear indication for us that many people working in Dwejra attach a great deal of hope to our project. From the very beginning, we have been looking at such a development for the lower floor of the complex, and we are ready to discuss this with Maltese authorities at the earliest available opportunity.

- In the correspondence from residents of Gozo, serious concern is expressed over the lack of proper parking facilities in Dwejra. In this regard, I am ready to propose a series of measures to develop the surrounding territory as part of the Heart of Malta exhibition complex project. These measures include architectural and design solutions to create a unified infrastructure for the central square in Dwejra and the territory surrounding the complex:

a) the construction of underground parking beneath Dwejra’s central square;

b) the installation of a bespoke system of architectural lighting;
c) designs for commercial pavilions, ticket offices and other architectural features;
d) the creation of a comprehensive branding concept for the entire complex, including signage.

All of the above should be created in a uniform style, one which complements the aesthetic of the project as a whole, and becomes an organic part of it. I would like to reiterate that our project is founded on the idea of creating an ultra-modern piece of architecture which blends into the natural environment, and we believe that the urbanistic approach proposed for St Julian’s and other heavily-developed places in Malta is entirely inappropriate for Dwejra. I am therefore convinced that the radical idea to install underground parking beneath Dwejra’s central square will enable us to not only resolve the issue of parking facilities, but also to preserve intact both the natural landscape and the existing architecture which together have created the unique Maltese charm so beloved by all. The implementation of all the measures set out above will create a top-level infrastructure for the centre of Dwejra, as an integral part of the Heart of Malta exhibition complex.


- Judging by some of the comments expressing concern that the construction would corrode from contact with sea-water, it became clear to us that some readers understood the term “steel structure” at face value, and were not necessarily aware of the existence of austenitic steels with a molybdenum content, Duplex steels, titanium, metallized ceramics and the other advanced surfacing materials which have enabled us to arrive at the design in its current form.

3) Undoubtedly, aside from the purely economic factors, there is a large number of other aspects that we would like to present to you in the future. These aspects relate both to architectural ideology as a whole, and to outstanding examples of the implementation of “landmark” pieces of architecture and sculpture, objects which have been incorporated into both the historical built environment and the natural landscape, and which may have initially created controversy in contemporary society, but in time became national symbols as a result of their very uniqueness. One thinks of Mount Rushmore in the USA, the Eiffel Tower, the Grande Arch de la Défense and the glass pyramid of The Louvre in Paris, the Soumaya Museum in Mexico City, the Sydney Opera House, the Guggenheim Bilbao Museum and many other examples of outstanding architecture.

Svetozar Andreev



СЕРДЦЕ МАЛЬТЫ / ПРОЕКТ СТУДИИ АРХИТЕКТОРА СВЕТОЗАРА АНДРЕЕВА (Tieqa Tad-Dwejra malt.) Окно Двейры, больше известное, как Лазурное Окно (Azure Window eng.) было иконой Мальтийских островов. Во время шторма, в марте 2017 года, арка упала в море. Восстановить ее в первозданном виде не представляется возможным. 


Тем не менее, мы хотим дать этому символу новую жизнь:

Сердце Мальты - это стилизованная архитектурная форма с полированными стальными гранями, в которых будет отражаться окружающий ландшафт, имеющая общие размеры, силуэт и пропорции природной известняковой арки. Внутри этой формы мы запланировали свыше 5.000 квадратных метров выставочных зон, на пяти спиральных уровнях. Каждый виток спирали, с динамической лазерной экспозицией, будет посвящен тысячелетию в истории  Мальтийского архипелага.

Это будет превосходный монумент и символ слияния современности и природы, времени и истории, а также, памятник упорству человеческого духа

Идея, Архитектура и Дизайн Интерьера - Aрхитектор Светозар Андреев. 

Сopyright © Svetozar Andreev, 2018-2019. All rights reserved.
( при участии дизайнера интерьера Елены Британишской ) 

Проект официально представлен правительству Мальты в декабре 2018 года и широко освещен в местной и международной прессе.Целью проекта является создание центра притяжения в Двейре, за счет новой архитектурной и культурной достопримечательности. Мы уверены, что этот проект  представляет собой прекрасную инвестицию в будущее Мальты и Гозо."- Светозар Андреев.

СОВРЕМЕННОСТЬ НУЖДАЕТСЯ В НОВЫХ СИМВОЛАХ Времена изменились, и больше мы не строим кафедральных соборов, как в средние века и эпоху ренессанса, символизирующих духовную победу над смертью, хаосом и разрушением, вобравших в себя все лучшее, чем располагал человек на тот момент. Построенные на пределе инженерных возможностей и возможностей материала, они отражали картину мира и мироощущение людей той эпохи, многократно повторяемую в фресках, витражах, скульптуре и музыке. Они были центрами, в которых отразилось их понимание философии прошлого и отношение

к современности.

С тех пор наше мироощущение существенно изменилось, наши горизонты расширились и мы получили в руки безграничные возможности, заключенные
в материалах, технологиях и средствах выражения. Но чем больше наши возможности, тем чаще мы демонстрируем полную беспомощность, когда необходимо синтезировать наши знания и взгляд на мир в единое целое, выходящее за рамки утилитарных потребностей, и часто создается впечатление, что люди, строившие кафедральные соборы, обладали большей смелостью чем мы.

Тем не менее, мы не можем отрицать того факта, что Современность нуждается в новых символах, отражающих те же проблемы, которые стояли перед людьми строившими прекрасные города много сотен лет назад, и мы понимаем, что не можем жить только памятниками прошлого и что неизбежно мы встаем перед необходимостью создавать новые проекты, соответствующие нашей эпохе. Это является основным мотивом, приведшим нас к созданию  проекта 
The Heart Of Malta, монумента, несущего в своем силуэте напоминание о беспощадной силе и изменчивости природы, и задуманного стать тем, чем были кафедральные соборы прошлого - квинтэссенцией нашей культуры, отчаянно стремящейся перешагнуть границы возможного.

Нам видится наш проект - как открытый взгляд в будущее и гордый ответ превратностям нашей истории и судьбы.

Мне хочется напомнить тем, кто разделяет "природное" и "человеческое", когда говорит о внедрении в природный контекст, что человек и его сознание - такая же часть природы, живущая по ее неумолимым законам, и что подобное разделение выглядит по меньшей мере самонадеянно. Мы такая же часть природы, только обладающая самосознанием и способностью к интерпретации происходящего.Несмотря на поверхностное ощущение конфликта с окружением, мы имеем в нашем случае, пример предельной смысловой и архитектурной интеграции в окружающий контекст, позволяющей говорить об удачном решении, выходящем за пределы понятия урбанизация. Призрак Лазурного Окна из стали отражающий в себе небо, землю и море - это очень сильный образ.

По этому мы уверены, что нам удалось в полной мере отразить в нашем проекте тему взаимодействия человеческого и природного, тему падения и преодоления,
как основной лейтмотив современный культуры, создав архитектурный проект, имеющий собственную драматургию и историю, чей запоминающийся силуэт в гранях которого растворяется действительность, не оставит равнодушными множество людей по всему миру и который, как нельзя лучше отражает дух прошлого Мальты.

Светозар Андреев



Please consider the environment before publishing this project!

This project protected under copyright in whole or in part, including the name and concept of the project,

architectural plans, blueprints, layouts and 3D visualisations. 

Any distribution, sale or use of these materials without the express consent of the copyright holder

( Сopyright © Svetozar Andreev, 2018-2020. All rights reserved.)

will be in violation of international copyright law.


Пожалуйста, прочитайте прежде, чем вы опубликуете этот проект!

Данный проект защищены международным авторским правом,включая название и концепцию проекта,

архитектурные планы, чертежи, макеты и 3D визуализации. 

Любое распространение, продажа или использование этих материалов без согласия правообладателя, 

( Сopyright © Светозар Андреев, 2018-2020. Все права защищены.

является нарушением международного закона об авторском праве.





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