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Labics, Revitalization, Rome

A Delicate Veil: Revitalization Project in Rome

The east-west orientation of the long, narrow plot is a salient feature here. Interconnections have been deliberately set, which encourages circulation between the residential district to the south and the city centre, which lies directly to the north. Starting from the old bus terminal at the eastern tip, Città del Sole has developed in a sequence. Visitors are led through the space that spans the cleverly arranged structures and empty spaces. A multifaceted, decelerated place has emerged from the character of leavetaking embodied by the hectic bus station.

The individual elements come together as a functional complex. The two lower storeys are like a foundation zone structured by the up and down of stairways and ramps. Like an organic structure, it seems to extend its feelers in various directions in order to emphasize interaction with the surroundings and with coming and going.

Three separate, imposing structures reign over this zone. They underscore the axis and overall organization from east to west. The volumes that are adjacent to the bus terminal, as well as the centrally positioned one, seem significantly more restrained compared to the eastern complex, as though it were symbolically offering its hand to the low, former bus station. Released from its foundation area, parts of the building trio have been set atop supports, creating a sheltered meeting place in the transition zones.

The programmatic arrangement of the area has been divided into the various built structures. In the foundation zone, which connects everything, commercial areas and a bookshop complement the bus station on the ground floor. The space above is devoted to offices and public spaces. The western building is also home to working spaces. The other two house apartments. The middle building features large, exclusive apartments, while the highest complex, distributed over nine storeys, has smaller living units.

The individual elements are brought together by a unifying language of design. Glass and aluminum characterize all views of the ensemble. Thin aluminum rods like silver pick-up-sticks arranged cheek by jowl join the larger part of the façade onto a delicate, transparent, yet somehow concealing structure. These rods continue over the entire height of the space and emphasize the vertical. The two living complexes stand visually apart. They have been equipped with adaptable sunshade elements. In the lower building, these can be tipped vertically over the entire height of the structure. The higher structure has fixed elements with horizontally pivoting louvres. These create vivid, ever-changing perspectives.

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