Giuseppe Bonavia

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La Borsa in Valletta, one of Bonavia's best-known buildings

Giuseppe Bonavia (1821 – 2 September 1885) was a Maltese draughtsman and architect who was mainly active in the second half of the 19th century.[1] Born in Valletta, he was initially a clerk of works with the Royal Engineers, before becoming the Head of the Civil Service Works Department.[2]

Bonavia designed in a variety of styles, including Gothic Revival and Neoclassical architecture. His signature buildings were those of the 1850s and 1860s.[3] His St. Andrew's Scots Church (1854) was the first Gothic church to be built in Malta, while his masterpiece is La Borsa (Exchange Buildings), which was built in 1857.[2]

Buildings designed by Bonavia include:[2][3]


Bonavia also made plans for the proposed Royal Opera House in 1859, but eventually the building was constructed to designs of the English architect Edward Middleton Barry.[2] The Dragonara Palace in St. Julian's is sometimes also attributed to Bonavia.[4]

Further reading[edit]

  • Thake, Conrad (2016). "Giuseppe Bonavia (1821-1885): a Maltese architect with the Royal Engineers". In Charlene Vella (ed.). At Home in Art: Essays in Honour of Mario Buhagiar (PDF). Midsea Books. pp. 431–490. ISBN 9789993275985.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Thake, Conrad (2016). "Giuseppe Bonavia (1821-1885): a Maltese architect with the Royal Engineers". At Home in Art, Essays in Honour of Mario Buhagiar (PDF). Midsea Books. pp. 431–490.
  2. ^ a b c d Schiavone, Michael J. (2009). Dictionary of Maltese Biographies Vol. 1 A-F. Pietà: Pubblikazzjonijiet Indipendenza. pp. 220–221. ISBN 9789993291329.
  3. ^ a b Borg, Malcolm (2001). British Colonial Architecture: Malta, 1800-1900. Publishers Enterprises Group. p. 138. ISBN 9789990903003.
  4. ^ Agius, Frederica (2014). The Dragonara Palace. A Historic Perspective. Dragonara Gaming Limited. p. 17. ISBN 9789995707187.