n view of its strategic position dominating the surrounding countryside of Gozo, Kenuna Tower is currently being used by Maltacom plc for telecommunication purposes. It is significant that the construction of the tower on this site in 1848 was originally dictated by the need to provide clear visibility for the transfer of messages signaled from this structure, one of Malta's three semaphore stations.
Today it has resumed its identity as a communications building, this time housing contemporary telecommunication technology to provide security for the Malta-Gozo links and other specific applications (eg. maritime communications) as well as to provide radio coverage in the Gozo area for radio-based services (cellular, paging, data etc.)
The intervention on the tower is an insertion that is independent of the existing old structure thus avoiding any scars on the historic fabric. All services, ducting, cabling etc. are surface mounted on the new structure. A single inclined steel column was inserted from which all the floors stem culminating with the roof and the antennae. Accordingly, on the first floor, a glass box is cantilevered off the column in which the equipment is placed. The elevated box allows free passage through the tower on the ground floor. In fact, the newly restored structure remains open to the public who can enter the tower to view the equipment and to enjoy the splendid views that the location affords.
A small bathroom and kitchenette are accessible at the second floor by means of a steel bridge while the meeting room cantilevers off the column at parapet level allowing a 360 degree panoramic view of Gozo, Malta and Comino. Similar to the floor below, this floor is connected to the spiral staircase by means of a steel bridge. The roof branches out from the main inclined rib and hovers above the old tower in such a way as to allow the sky to be seen right through the building. The different character of the new intervention is accentuated by the large areas of glass that cause the roof with its copper cladding to detach itself from the historic structure. In this way, when viewed from outside, the roof contributes to the preservation of the image of the tower as a fragment.
In some ways, the new intervention is reminiscent of the wood and steel signaling structures the tower was originally created to support.