Museo della Casa e del Design

Architectural Design Lab | Sapienza University of Rome | Summer 2012 Rome / Italy / 2012

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In Rome’s core we take back a piece of the city. The intervention is effectively directed to fill the urban void that occurred after the incomplete demolishments during the italian Ventennio Era. The project is based on the rationalist and functionalist mindset, on the need for clear and simple shapes, composed only of the essential. The rationality of the new complex is given by the distribution of the main functions in different parts of the edifice: the cube for temporary exhibitons; the parallelepiped for the exhibition of Design; the basement for the exhibition of the House; the lifted-up volume for offices and administration.


The difficulties coming from the irregularity of the plot are resolved through the most simple approach: neither Vicolo delle Prigioni nor Virgilio High School give a suitable answer to the problem, so at this point Ponte Mazzini is the leader. Here there is the possibility to work perpendicularly with the imaginary extension of the bridge, getting the basic axis to work with. Nevertheless it is too important to consolidate again the front in Via Giulia with the adjacent buildings; from here the esthetic choice to realese the axis on the back side of the museum in order to give linearity and coherence to the axis of Via Giulia.


The Lungotevere front, which the museum’s main entrance is reserved to, is not aligned with the adjacent buildings with the possibility to create a liveable public space, decorated by a stretch of water moving under the ample glass wall of the main museum’s facade. The volumetric composition is held in trust to a game of soft joint between a cube and a parallelepiped, in the insertion of one in the other one. A lifted up volume on pillars and on a cross wall is in contrast with the dinamysm of that encounter, getting closer to the parallelepiped but without touching it.


The museum’s atrium, in the cube’s center, is characterized by a vertical open space going through three storeys, surrounded by the balconies wrapping around the center where the temporary expositions take place. At the ground floor there are the ticket service, the cloakroom and the bookshop. The ascent to the last floor culminates with the access to the panoramic terrace overlooking the Gianicolo Hill and the ancient city. At the last level of the parallelepiped there is a restaurant-café serving the terrace. Discending the levels of the parallelepiped the permanent exhibit of Design takes shape, accompanied along each floor by the glass wall at the gallery’s bottom that instils natural light in the space, especially in the vertical open spaces. Reaching the level of Via Giulia, in the basement, a large and fluid space is reserved for the permanent exhibit of The House. Besides the exhibit, there is the access to two conference halls, the café and the museum’s store.

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    In Rome’s core we take back a piece of the city. The intervention is effectively directed to fill the urban void that occurred after the incomplete demolishments during the italian Ventennio Era. The project is based on the rationalist and functionalist mindset, on the need for clear and simple shapes, composed only of the essential. The rationality of the new complex is given by the distribution of the main functions in different parts of the edifice: the cube for temporary exhibitons;...

    Project details
    • Year 2012
    • Main structure Mixed structure
    • Status Research/Thesis
    • Type Multi-purpose Cultural Centres / Museums / Concert Halls / Pavilions
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