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Enhancing of the via dei Fori Imperiali, Rome, Italy
Year 2016

    Enhancing of the via dei Fori Imperiali, Rome, Italy

    Competition 2016

    The Fori Imperiali area in Rome is the outcome of a long layering process that has taken place over past centuries. One of this project’s main intentions is to highlight the presence of the Fori, which are the true agents that portray this area as a unique archaeological site in the world. This aim meets a current paradigm change, in which ruins are perceived through a scientific lens, valuing its layout and urban spatiality.

    There are two areas related to two axis that are affected by different problems: the Fori Imperiali axis area and the Coliseum-Temple of Venus and Roma area.

    In the first area, the layout of the Via dei Fori Imperiali generates confusion problems and prevents the old city from being properly read. The existence of the Via Alessandrina, which runs through some of the Fori ruins, no longer makes sense, since the Alessandrino quarter has disappeared. The access spots to the Fori are also confusing and limited.

    In the second area, the Coliseum and the rest of the archaeological areas are not properly connected. The partly destroyed base of the Temple of Venus and Roma and its current character as a green area have dwindled the axial relation of the Temple with the Coliseum.

    The variety of materials and constructive solutions in the area are also confusing.

    PROPOSAL

    Due to the character of the Fori Imperiali as a unique site in the world, a new great archaeological park integrated in the metropolitan park system of Rome is proposed. This way the place recovers its nature as an urban Forum in the very heart of the city.

    Firstly, the geometrical and spatial clarity of the Fori is restored, replacing the Via dei Fori Imperiali with a path network over the old porticoes of the Fori. The large patios of the old buildings are perceived as great voids on the ground as if they were windows to the past and the new elevated paths constitute the roofing for newly designed arcades over the old porticoes, allowing the previously covered and uncovered areas to be identified from the ruins level below. These upper paths are bordered by longitudinal crevices which serve as benches included in its thickness. These crevices prevent further railings that would hinder the sight of the ruins from above.

    Secondly, the Via dei Fori Imperiali is conserved only as a visual axis, highlighted by the reconstruction of the columns through anastilosis techniques. The connection of the Fori area with the current city level is also restored through new walkways.

    Thirdly, a variety of specific interventions is arranged in different areas of the Fori. Over the Temple of Peace a new roofing is arranged, creating a large hypostyle room at the ruins level and connecting them to the upper level through a broad staircase that climbs through a central opening. Over the so-called Adriano Auditoria two new constructions are organized in order to restore the volumetric outline of the ancient ruins. The base of the Temple of Venus and Roma is also approached, creating a wall that surrounds its perimeter and which contains a system to access and exit the area. The Maxentious area and the Muñoz wall are redesigned in order to highlight the Via dei Fori Imperiali axis. Surrounding the Coliseum and the Baths of Trajan new sloping green areas are arranged, distancing the ruins level from the traffic noise, and organizing radial stairs that connect the upper and lower levels.

    Finally, a new antique museum is built over the archaeological ruins of the Ludus Magnus. This consists of two large constructions over a square podium that overlooks onto the Coliseum. The extruded architectural volume evokes the disappeared profile of the Ludus Magnus, whose remains lie below. Natural light runs through a skylight and illuminates the ruins at the lower level. The use of a single material and the visual relation between the museum and the Coliseum conceptually links both constructions.

    Authors: Linazasoro&Sánchez Arquitectura, Emanuele Fidone, Bruno Messina, Fabrizio Foti
    Collaborators: Hugo Sebastián de Erice, Domenico Cristofalo, Alba Troitiño Bernal, Fabio Guarrera, Enzo Siciliano