City of Science, Rome

Rome, Italy
CDP Investimenti Sgr

This is our entry for the competition launched by CDP Investimenti Sgr together with the Rome Municipal Government in order to shape the regeneration of the Flaminio area of Rome, an area experiencing an intense process of transformation including the MAXXI art gallery by Zaha Hadid.

We worked closely with XC02 Energy to prepare our proposals, one of 246 entries submitted, from 20 countries, mainly European, with groups also from the United States, Middle East and Australia.

Our approach to creating the City of Science neighbourhood started with a fundamental question… Why not keep as many of the existing buildings on the site as possible? Instead of wiping the slate clean and building another “iconic” structure in front of the already iconic MAXXI (which may struggle to find both capital and revenue funding), why not adapt the existing factory buildings into a City of Science “campus”? This seems appropriate to us given that “science” investigates the evolution of natures systems rather than beginning with tabula rasa. The existing buildings could be transformed into a mixture of small and large spaces for temporary exhibitions and events, constantly changing to service the dialogue between science, arts and the wider community. 

There is enough room within a smaller portion of the site to deliver the critical mass of new homes, hotel and leisure facilities required for the neighbourhood without comprising the amenity of the new residents and visitors. The compact form is more sustainable, more vital and the energy sharing possibilities of a woven neighbourhood help with the zero energy target.