Rome and its reverse. Originating from the geography of places itself, viral forms emerge from the underground, stimulating the proliferation of “antibodies” capable of attacking the contemporary city’s ailing tissue, its qualitative inhomogeneities, the wounds inflicted to its body, its pockets of decay. “Antibodies” are proliferating cells capable of giving the city what it currently lacks the most: places of encounter and relation, magnets which attract talents, stages of Dionysiac liberation for the city’s creative energy. “Inhabiting” different heights alters the inner horizon and transforms our everyday lives. Moving away from the ground, even when great heights or depths are not reached, generates emotions.
The viruses of Uneternal Rome are the shapes and senses of the underground world, but also the prospects and the lightness of the aerial world, free of the urban labyrinth’s routes, unifying in a glance which reads complexity and allows for different interpretations and for the revision of signs and meanings in several directions.
Two parallel labyrinths cohabit, but don’t communicate, in the city’s depths. Our everyday route ignores the second city made of archaeological findings, cavities, ducts, galleries, water courses, infrastructures, technological networks. An underground which is the mirror of the city of the surface and of its needs, and from which its vitality and efficiency have always depended: the void of the quarries generated for the implementation of its solids; the metropolitan and railroad networks for the connection of urban junctions; the telematic and telephone networks that support communication and knowledge; the aqueducts, electrical ducts, gas pipelines, that innervate vital resources. In the depth, as in a new dimension, it is possible to organize the countless technological functions required by the metropolis of the future in different levels, it is possible to experiment novel public spaces characterized by a vertical labyrinth of new transversal and oblique courses which are alternative to the historical horizontal city.
Zero altitude, the sleek, the plane of reference of urban public spaces, wrinkles and articulates itself through folds and fissures, realizing new and fresh urban spatiality.
An interval which climbs over and incorporates the land line, an urban section which displays the relations that the city has established with the history and with the geography of places. Rome’s underground is a resource that awaits to be rediscovered and reproposed. The project identifies the places where the underground viral form expands itself in surface, integrating with the city in elevation in order to revitalize the urban system. New centralities which rise in the places of interconnection between the city of the surface and the subterranean one. From a devastating activity, the underground’s “volcanic emersion” is transformed into a positive factor for Rome, into a new geoenergy for urban reorganization. The chosen places are those of ever-lost opportunities, volleys that must be recovered in order to re-launch an eternal city which changes more rapidly than the heart of a mortal being.
E.U.R – The energy of movement
A virus carves the E.U.R.’s urban soil through a tectonic movement, creates a canyon, a stratified public space, alternative to its horizontal isotropy, where the vertical labyrinth of transversal and oblique courses crosses the wartime bunkers and connects places of culture, office and commerce. The energy dispersed from the scattered spaces of the park-city is re-densified and concentrated, conserved in the soil which accumulates it as a condenser. The kinetic energy of urban steps and motion, collected and conveyed in the ground by dynamic systems, charges and revitalizes the overlooking city.
Porta di Roma Shopping Centre – The energy of the ground
The virus overturns the city’s layers like a plough at the quest of new urban fertility and of enzymes of aggregation and social quality. The shopping centre’s zero altitude becomes the underground, the texture overlaps with the disrupted fabric, verdure returns to the fore. The ground becomes an energy exchanger, isolates and preserves the otherwise dispersed vital resources. The connection pins between the aerial and the underground world ensure the continuous exchange of vitality between the layers of access to the geothermal resources of depth.
Historical Centre text – The energy of memory
The virus rearranges the cavities existing in the Vittoriano’s underground and opens new points of access to the treasures of memory, collected in the hypogeal layer by the course of time. The elevator tower goes back and forth from one horizon to another: the city’s belvedere and the underground world. The “typewriter’s” ribbon links images and information along an experiential course of access to knowledge. Solar energy, captured by the surface of the glazed bubbles, and the energy of memory, stored in the ground’s stratigraphy, are freed and distributed by the red line to the city’s network.
EUR Magliana purification plant – The energy of matter
The virus metabolizes the raw materials which arrive from far away in order to charge the city. The waste and the remainders, piled up during the course of time and stratified in the urban soil, filtered and depurated, return to new life in a techno-archaeological and recreational park. The matter, in its unceasing process of transformation, releases energy which is recovered, as a result of its biotic ability, in order to charge urban life.
Villa De Sanctis Casilina – The energy of wind
The virus renews the energies preserved in the underground of Villa De Sanctis’ urban park. The hidden resources, the shelters, the cellars, the mushroom beds become once again accessible for the park’s attendants and the neighbourhood’s inhabitants. The maze-like cavities, originating from the search of pozzolan, the most important material for the development of the roman city, lodge new stations like deviators which capture Aeolian energy from the aerial world and aerostatic pressure from the ground in order to charge the contemporary city.