Mizzi Studio

Mizzi Studio

London, GB | Valletta, MT


Malta Bus Reborn

Mizzi Studio has designed a new electric fleet of buses for Malta that marries zero emissions technology with all the charm of the iconic traditional Maltese buses that were retired in 2011. Through our contemporary, eco-friendly reimagining, we hope to ignite a renewed sense of pride in Malta’s industrial and cultural heritage.

Malta’s traditional, driver-owned buses were decommissioned as they no longer met EU standards for carbon emissions. Even so, these buses remain one of the country’s most recognisable emblems.  With our new designs, we aim to improve the environmental efficiency of Malta’s current diesel fleet whilst simultaneously bringing back the lost character that made the traditional buses so iconic. The old buses' chassis existed as bold emblems of the dynamic design of the 1950s and its forward-thinking style. Each vehicle was lovingly customised with painted images of cultural and religious references, making each bus as distinctive as the personality of its driver.  

Over seven years of research and development, we have utilised our skills as an award-winning design practice to transport the Malta bus into the future. Our knowledge of the original buses has allowed us to cultivate a deep understanding of what made their design so captivating – from the cute hooded eyes and smiling chrome grill, to the subtle angel wing references and horseshoe badges to ward off evil spirits. We have converted decades of heartfelt decorative flourishes into a contemporary design. We have even reimagined the hand-painted line patterns and lettering (tberfil) - traditionally used to articulate features and emblazon the buses with slogans such as forever young - in digital form, paying homage to the craftsmanship and pride associated with the traditional buses and enabling the drivers to customise their bus once more.

Mizzi Studio’s proposal is for a fully electric, emission-free fleet that is in line with the EU’s long-term strategy for a climate-neutral future. The new fleet would also have a full vision panel at the front, state-of-the-art air conditioning and cooling systems, middle doors for efficient boarding and disembarking and low floors and ramps for disabled access – all features designed to make public transport a more appealing option and help to relieve traffic and associated pollution in Malta and Gozo.

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Status: Built