Continuing the City: Città del Sole in Rome
In 2007, the Labics architecture studio submitted the winning design to the competition to build Città del Sole. This project was initiated by the City of Rome but was ultimately realized by a private investor. At any rate, the result is no introverted apartment and office complex, but rather a multi-limbed, open continuation of the existing urban environment that will serve as a meeting place for the residents of the nearby residential district. Above all, the architects lay great value on maintaining the existing network of paths and integrating it into their new complex.
A two-storey plinth accommodates shops on the ground floor and offices on the first upper level; the flat roof is accessible to the public. Above this, three further structures rise on slender concrete supports and massive walls: a dramatically jutting, L-shaped tract housing more offices, a second L-shaped structure with luxury maisonette apartments, and a compact tower that is home to small and medium-sized apartments. To finish off the western end of the complex, the architects intend to restore the horseshoe-shaped neighbourhood library from the 1920s. Along with playing its vital public role, the library will also create a visual connection between the new buildings and the existing neighbourhood.
The various functions of the complex are immediately visible thanks to the façade: the offices have rigid sunshades of fine, L-shaped, edged aluminum profiles. On the apartment tower, adjustable horizontal slats of glass serve as sun protection; the façades and loggias of the luxury apartments have been equipped with folding shutters made of aluminum slats.