Lombard Bank Head Office – Palazzo Spinola
The Lombard Bank Head Office is housed within the grand Palazzo Spinola, on Republic Street in Valletta.
The building, which was designed by Romano Carapecchia and Girolamo Cassar, originally belonged to Fra Giovanni de Villaroel, and later became the property of Fra Paolo Raffaele Spinola, which is when it was given its name.
The building is home to some splendid architectural features, from vaulted ceilings at the ground floor level, to a cassettone ceiling spread over the hallway on the first floor.
At Lombard Bank, we pride ourselves on being sensitive to the historic buildings that we occupy. Thus the bank fully restored the Republic Street wing of this palazzo over the years. Here, the stonework has been meticulously cleaned, while the balustrades, barrel vaulted ceilings and timber beams have also been renovated.
Palazzo Spinola – The Frederick Street Wing
Palazzo Spinola was divided into three parts at the end of the 19th century, by the Testaferrata family. While one wing was made into apartment blocks, the Republic Street one was acquired by Lombard Bank. The final wing, on Frederick Street, was then the residence of the late Judge Edoardo Magri.
Years later, Lombard Bank acquired the Frederick Street wing too, and appointed Architects Paul Camilleri and Associates to oversee its restoration.
At the time, the building was in a general state of neglect. The exterior stonework needed cleaning or replacing, while the interior required a series of interventions to restore it to its former glory.
Thus, a variety of interventions were made, including changes to the floor plans to provide for a passenger lift and staircase, the restoration of the old spiral staircase, repaired certain columns and lintels to make the building structurally sound, and the replacement of a decorative false ceiling that originally dated back to the early 18th century.
There are numerous highlights dotted across the building, including beautifully decorated stone columns surrounding the courtyard in the Frederick Street wing, together with a ceiling fresco by architect Nicolau Nasoni, which dates back to around 1723.
Through the acquisition and restoration of this part of Palazzo Spinola, Lombard Bank has tried to unify the detached parts of the building and to allow users to once again appreciate it grandeur as a whole. Today, the building is used as bank offices and training centre.
The restoration of this part of Palazzo Spinola was awarded the Din l-Art Helwa Award for Architectural Heritage in 2010.