Villa Bichi, designed by Lorenzo Gafà, was built in 1675 by Fra Giovanni Bichi, the grandson of Pope Alexander VII. A year later, the unfinished palace was inherited by his nephew Fra Mario Bichi due to the sudden death of his uncle. Bailiff Fra Giovanni Sigismondo bought the palace in 1712, while in 1718 it returned back to the Bichi family. The villa was abandoned during the French blockade, while in 1827 King George IV decreed to the Admiralty to transform this building in a naval hospital.
In 1829 four Egyptian stelae were found during the excavation of the foundations. On 23rd March 1830 the first stone was laid by Vice Admiral Sir Pulteney Malcolm. The Second World War impaired the building including the Cot Lift. It closed its doors in September 1970. Today the building houses the ESPLORA center and the Malta Council for Science and Technology.