Renzo Piano On ‘Civic Duty’ In Our Cities

President Giorgio Napolitano and Renzo Piano (2012). Image Courtesy of La Repubblica

In The New Yorker’s latest Postcard from Rome Elizabeth Kolbert talks to Renzo Piano in his Senate Office at the Palazzo Giustiniani, just around the corner from the . Piano, who was named a Senator for Life by Italian President Giorgio Napolitano in September 2013 (when he was 75 years of age), immediately “handed over the office, along with his government salary, to six much younger architects.” He then “asked them to come up with ways to improve the periferie - the often run-down neighborhoods that ring Rome and ’s other major cities.” Kolbert attests to Piano’s belief in the power of museums and libraries and concert halls. For him, ”they become places where people share values [and] where they stay together.” “This is what I call the civic role of architecture.”

Progetto Flaminio Announces Competition for Rome’s New City of Science District

Courtesy of Progetto Flaminio

The Cassa Depositi e Prestiti Investimenti Sgr has recently acquired the former Precision Electrical Components Factory in Flaminio, located between Via Guido Reni and Viale del Vignola, that will now be transformed into the new City of Science district.

Signaling the debut of a course of urban developments near Rome’s historic neighborhoods, the area is marked by such iconic landmarks as Zaha Hadid’s MAXXI Museum, ’s Parco della Musica, and the Foro Italico and Olympic Village of 1960. The competition calls for a master plan for a neighborhood “integrated within the context of contemporary Rome.” Covering an area of 5.1 hectares, the neighborhood should work in tandem with the City of Science, and feature landscaping, public areas that attract local residents as well as outside visitors, and residential spaces (including apartments and social housing) serving 1,500 to 2,000 people. Six participants will be chosen to move onto the second phase of the competition.

Mario Palanti: Architect of Rome’s Skyscraper That Never Was

Adam Nathaniel Furman, architect and winner of this year’s Blueprint Award for Design Innovation, is currently undertaking his tenure as the recipient of the 2014/15 Rome Prize for Architecture at the British School at Rome. His ongoing project, entitled The Roman Singularity, seeks to explore and celebrate Rome as “the contemporary city par-excellence” – “an urban version of the internet, a place where the analogical-whole history of society, architecture, politics, literature and art coalesce into a space so intense and delimited that they collapse under the enormity of their own mass into a singularity of human endeavour.”

In this short essay inspired by the work of Dietrich C Neumann, an architectural historian at Brown University (Providence, RI USA), Furman examines what would have been “the tallest building in the world [...] housing Italy’s new Parliament, lecture halls, meeting rooms, a hotel, library, enormous sports facilities, lighthouse, clock, astronomical observatory, telegraph and telephone stations, [reflecting] sunlight off its acres and acres of white Carrara marble.” In the shadow of Italian Fascism, saw an opportunity to transform the skyline of the Italian capital by pandering to the egotistical ambitions of a dictator. Ultimately the extent of his vision was matched only by his failure.

Insects and Humans Harmonize in a Symphony of Architectural Sound in this Roman Installation

Courtesy of OFL Architecture

Within the walls of OFL Architecture‘s open-air wooden pavilion, the term “built environment” truly earns its keep. In Wunderbugs, humans become spectators of the natural world as insects toil away in six spherical ecosystems, and sensors weave movements into a web of data. Upon entering the pavilion, visitors are transformed into components of an interactive soundtrack harvested from the sensors and broadcast in the space, uniting the insect and human experience. The project was conceived for the second annual Maker Faire Europe in Rome, where it was installed earlier this month.

Enter the interactive acoustic experience of Wonderbugs after the break.

Rome Invites Ideas For Reuse of Europe’s Biggest Landfill Site

A major competition for reuse has just been announced for the Malagrotta Landfill, one of the European Union’s biggest landfill sites. After Malagrotta was closed in August 2013 due to its controversial size and negative impact on the surrounding community, the Municipality of Rome began a process of redevelopment through community engagement. Multi-displinary teams are tasked with a creating a proposal to reinvent the sprawling 240-hectare property while considering its original purpose. The competition is designed to begin a conversation on the long-term vision for the property.

AD Classics: Casa “Il Girasole” / Luigi Moretti

© Gabriele Basilico

As one architectural scholar described it, ’s 1950 Casa “Il Girasole” is “a bit of madness on the solidity of Roman walls.” [1] Yet, this clever apartment building in the heart of is far from the work of a madman. Its subtle historical allusions and deliberately ambiguous composition betray the genius of the architect’s creative and analytical mind. Moretti, whose notable commissions include Villa La Saracena (1957), Montreal’s Stock Exchange Tower (1964), and the Watergate Complex (1971), achieves a complexity of form and materiality in “Il Girasole” that distinguishes the project from its mid-century contemporaries and has earned it recognition as one of the earliest forerunners of postmodern design.

Conversation / Cose Turche: Architecture in Istanbul

© Giuliana Sibilia

MAXXI and Insula architettura e ingegneria with Based Architecture present “Cose Turche”,  a  conversation of six voices about Istanbul, aimed to recognize and trace the pulsating identity of a metropolis, which in its present metamorphosis is able to tell us about significant pieces of third millenium urban culture.

Recently some of Istanbul public spaces as Gezi Park, Taksim square with Ataturk Cultural Center by Hayati Tabanlioglu and Third Bosphorus Bridge became symbol and central places of an intense debate still open, which assumed a global broader connotation.

Arthur Andersson on Timeless Materials & Building “Ruins”

Tower House . Image © Art Gray

Material Minds, presented by ArchDaily Materials, is our new series of short interviews with architects, designers, scientists, and others who use architectural  in innovative ways. Enjoy!

of Andersson-Wise Architects wants to build ruins. He wants things to be timeless – to look good now and 2000 years from now. He wants buildings to fit within a place and time. To do that he has a various set of philosophies, processes and some great influences. Read our full in-depth interview with Mr. Andersson, another revolutionary ”Material Mind,” after the break.

Orizzontale’s Recycled Keg Wall Wins YAP MAXXI

© Orizzontale

Just as the 2014 winners of the Young Architects Program (YAP) in Chile and Korea were announced this week, the architecture collective of Orizzontale was crowned victorious for the program’s edition in .

The winning scheme, dubbed “8 1/2,” will be a translucent wall of recycled beer kegs and an inhabitable timber podium that will be used as a stage for summer events within the confines of the MAXXI piazza. Shaded during the day and illuminated at night, the glass wall is intended to inspire people to rest, play, watch and listen.

Woods Bagot Unveils Colosseum-Inspired Stadium for AS Roma

©

Global firm Woods Bagot has unveiled designs for the Italian Serie A soccer club AS Roma’s new stadium: Stadio della Roma. Planned for completion by the 2016-17 season on the outskirts of , the colosseum-inspired stadium will be capable of hosting more than 52,000 fans and designed to be easily configured to accommodate multiple sporting and entertainment events.

“The design draws visual cues from the world’s most historic spectator venue, the Roman Colosseum,” says Woods Bagot Sport Design Leader, Dan Meis. “The design features a state-of-the-art steel and concrete seating bowl wrapped in a ‘floating’ stone scrim, evocative of the rhythmic facade of the famous arena; with polycarbonate clad roof is reminiscent in form of the historic retractable fabric canopy that once covered the upper tiers of the Colosseum.”

Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome / Studio Odile Decq

© Odile Decq - L. Filetici

Architects: Studio Odile Decq
Location: Piazza Orazio Giustiniani, 4, 00153 Rome,
Area: 12000.0 sqm
Year: 2007
Photographs: Odile Decq – L. Filetici, Odile Decq – G. Fessy

Olgiata Sporting Club / LAD

© Francesco Napolitano

Architects: LAD
Location: Via Antonio Conti, 00123 ,
Architect In Charge: Francesco Napolitano
Design Team: Michelangelo Sabuzi Giuliani, Maria Carla Lini, Marcello Amalfitano
Interior Design: Simone Lanaro
Area: 7500.0 sqm
Year: 2010
Photographs: Francesco Napolitano, Cornelia Suhan

YAP 2013: bam! Debuts ‘He’ at MAXXI

He has made his debut in the piazza. As the winner of the Young Architects Program () in Rome, Turin-based studio Bam! Bottega di Architettura metropolitan has transformed the concrete facade of the Zaha Hadid-designed museum into a visual spectacular with the installation of a yellow, translucent and aerostatic prism. 

Sick & Wonder / Best Act

On Saturday September 7, at 6 pm at Ara Pacis Museum in ,CITYVISION, in partnership with NuFactory and OUTDOOR International Street Art Festival, will present Sick & Wonder / Best Act, the most important annual event curated by the roman based urban lab for contemporary architecture.

The OUTDOOR Festival, now in its fourth edition, has raised re-appropriation of urban spaces as a place of meeting, exchange, inter-cultural and inter-generational dialogue. OUTDOOR became an unique platform to interact with other forms of creativity. Among these, the architecture is certenly playing a key role. This explains the partnership with .

During the eleventh edition of the PECHA KUCHA NIGHTTM ROMA the event will feature bloggers, gallery owners, opinion makers, architects, to arrive to the Rio Cityvision Competition Awards Ceremony.

More info after the break.

La Cucineria / Noses Architects

© Vito Corvasce

Architects: Noses Architects
Location: , Italy
Architects: Mohamed Keilani, Luca Gasparini
Year: 2012
Photographs: Vito Corvasce

Rome’s New Mayor Seeks to Pedestrianize The Monuments

© Franco Origlia/Getty Images via NPR

’s new mayor, Ignazio Marino, is leading a crusade for by eliminating noisy, out-of-control traffic surrounding the ancient monuments. Starting with the Via dei Fori Imperiali – a major avenue connecting the Piazza Venezia to the Colosseum – Marino plans to ban private traffic so pedestrians will have a place to “bike, walk, enjoy this incredible archaeological site.” More on the story at NPR.

House of Dust / Antonino Cardillo architect

Courtesy of

Architects: Antonino Cardillo architect
Location: Rome,
Design And Project Management: Antonino Cardillo
Area: 100 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Courtesy of Antonino Cardillo architect

Ex Unione Militare Refurbishment / Fuksas Design

© Gianni Basso

Architects: Fuksas Design
Location: , Italy
Architect In Charge: Massimiliano, Doriana Fuksas
Area: 6,116 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Gianni Basso