From the very outset I believed that the building should have a theme in order to maintain a consistent approach during the concept’s development, so as to ensure harmony between the architectural design, colour schemes and materials used. Incorporating a theme is essential because when in doubt, referring to the theme helps regain the sense of direction.
But what should the theme be? It was at this point that my wife Natasha reminded me of a holiday in Ibiza and how proud they are of their Ibizan Hound. A beautiful larger than life full-size brass Ibizan Hound welcomed all as they entered a famous club. The Ibizan Hound is the closest relative to Malta’s Pharoah Hound – ‘Il-Kelb Tal-Fenek’. Thus the idea for the theme was born.
The Pharoah Hound represents every element that Lawrence and I want to convey through the building. Firstly, the Pharoah Hound is light, agile and extremely fast – all qualities one needs in today’s business environment in order to thrive. Its sleek lines, sharp angles, and earthy-brown colour are all faithfully incorporated into the building and are immediately noticeable.
Next, the Pharoah Hound pedigree is timeless with a very ancient history that can be traced thousands of years back to the Egyptians, representations of which can be found in countless hieroglyphs. History is accumulated knowledge and experience, which is another desirable quality in business – the power to adapt and be agile, and yet to have knowledge and experience to refer to. These two qualities almost amount to a contradiction in terms.
Finally, the main feature of the Pharoah Hound is that it is a truly Maltese breed – in more ways than one. Evidence suggests that it was originally brought to Malta with the Phoenicians millennia ago and has been kept pure and free from interbreeding thanks to Malta being an island. Malta has been the Pharoah Hound’s only home since.
Having had two Pharoah Hounds of my own, I would say that they have adapted perfectly to Malta to the extent that even their character is Maltese. They are fiercely independent, they like to be free, and they certainly don’t take lightly to being forced to do something against their will, master or not! In character-terms, they are at the opposite end of the spectrum of the German Sheperd, given that breed’s blind, unquestioning obedience and devotion to its master. As someone with first-hand experience of these breeds and others, I have a soft-spot for the raw independence and beauty of the Pharoah Hound, which I find truly a cut above the rest.
How did the name NuBis come about? ‘Nubis is a play on word with the word ‘Anubis’ which was the Egyptian god with the head of the Pharoah Hound. The fact that Anubis featured the sounds ‘new’ and ‘biz’ just helped reinforce the theme and made an interesting story to tell.