Tucked away behind Old Bakery Street and Auberge de Bavière, this area in the lower part of Valletta, ‘Il-Biċċerija’, served as the main abattoir for the Order of St John in Malta.

With over 400 years of history, the building had several functions over the years and housed eight fuctioning bakeries for a large chunk of time.

For over 50 years, the building was dilapidated and forgotten with extensive damage, pest infestation, abuse and a general degradation of the area.

Restoration works started in the run up to 2018, when Valletta was crowned European Capital of Culture.

Together with residents and several public entities including the Restoration Directorate, il-Biċċerija l-Antika was cleaned and given new life.

Works were spread out over several years with an investment of €10.4 million, thanks in part to the European Regional Development Funds.

On the 24th March, this building with over 400 years of history, was opened as the Valletta Design Cluster bridging Valletta’s past and the island’s future.

Spread over 3,212 square metres, the Cluster offers 15 studios; tools and machines for prototyping; two international project labs; a conference hall; and a food space, including a nine-station training kitchen, among other areas. 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.

The Valletta Design Cluster also introduces a first of its kind public garden in the capital through its roof garden.

Are you ready to experience the story of the Valletta Design Cluster?