It has been almost six years since the collapse of Nero's Domus Aurea in Colle Oppio in Rome. The main causes of the disaster were its structural weaknesses, the weight of the park, the damage inflicted by the trees roots and water infiltrations.
Years later, it’s going to come back to life on the Colle Oppio garden thanks to a project that completely rethinks the former park replacing it with a lighter solution.
The park opened in 1936 and signed by Antonio Muñoz occupied a space of seven hundred square meters. It was full of large flower boxes and lawns crossed by boulevards. In the planters, only essences of blue simulating the fountain water: rosemary, hyacinths, lithodora. The design of the flowerbeds retraced the two underground monuments.
Unfortunately the beautiful underground building of the Domus Aurea was not able to bear all that weight.
After the collapse it was mandatory to secure the entire portion of the park that overlooks the Domus Aurea, and it was thus necessary to intervene on sixteen thousand square meters of land sacrificing a lot of vegetation.
The future garden will be "sustainable": light, thanks to technological insulation and drainage infrastructure systems and aboveall it will save one of the most important archaeological site of the city.
Gabriella Strano, landscape architect in charge of the work, explained how the garden has been designed to reproduce the atmosphere and style of a Roman nobleman's garden; it will present paths and shapes that will revoke the geometric design of the ancient Roman gardens. The goal is also to wrest the Colle Oppio area from degradation restoring the green area for the enjoyment of tourists and citizens.
In these cases it is even more evident how much the landscape design is essential. It is not just a matter of aesthetics, but of functional and here even historical importance and value.
To my delight and that of many other garden lovers and Rome, like me, this green space will be back to be life, for pleasure and recreation, even more beautiful and practical.
Marco Sandrini, Chief Landscape Designer at Sandrini Green Architecture