I’m not a conservationist or an archaeologist, but I think protecting ruins is a fine thing, and I do like big tents. The ruins of Hagar Qim and Mnajdra temples, a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the island of Malta, now have both.

These are “membrane structures” or “canopies,” not tents, and they’re made of steel frames and glass fabric, but it’s the same idea: to protect something – in this case a megalithic limestone complex between 4500 and 5600 years old. I have two favorite things about the canopies, besides their size. First, they take astronomical considerations into account – they’re designed to avoid obstructing sunlight on important days like summer and winter solstice. Also, they were assembled by professional climbers, because the sites cannot be touched. Great day job, eh?

More information in this article, and some superior photographs here. The canopies were designed by formTL.

[Photos by Marco Ansaloni]

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