City of Sun is a thoughtful new urban regeneration project, that breaks the stalemate condition that the city of Rome has been experiencing in the last years. In the eastern area of the city, close to the new Tiburtina high speed train station, it covers an area of 11,000 square meters. It has a multifunctional program, with a commercial area at street level, office spaces above, residence and car parks, all arranged around public spaces, located at various levels, in accordance with the historic city all around.
After the success obtained with the MAST project in bologna, Labics authored a new urban regeneration project in Rome. on a triangular lot of land, close to tiburtina station, not far from the urban fabric of the established city and overlooking the Verano monumental cemetery, a building complex for a variety of uses has taken shape, arranged around public spaces that are augmented by a structure with several levels developed around a central square. City of Sun, the name of this project constructed following an invitation competition, highlights Labics’ ability to define innovative programs guided by profound knowledge of the historical city and the quality of its relationships.
In an area covering 11,000 square meters in the eastern part of Rome, the architectural firm Labics has completed City of Sun, the project to regenerate a triangular lot of land situated between the modernized train station Tiburtina, the ICP (public housing ) Tiburtino quarter, the Verano Monumental Cemetery and Piazzale delle Province. Winner of the invitationcompetition launched by the Municipality of Rome in 2007 as part of the actions undertaken by the capital’s administration to enhance some of the areas used as a depot by the local public transport company, the complex designed by the architects Maria Claudia Clemente and Francesco Isidori is made up of residences, commercial spaces, offices, car parks and a succession of public spaces, on various levels. The project covers a patch of land previously occupied by the ATAC (the public bus company in Rome) depot.
Built by Parsitalia Srl (as the general contractor), previously owned by Hines and now by Investire SGR, which manages it, City of Sun qualifies as an open project focused on sharing and interconnection with the dynamics of the neighborhood, located on the edge of the city centre. Conceived on the basis of a study of the geometries, the solids/voids relationship and a meticulous reading of the local identity, starting with the neighboring Tiburtino II quarter, the project puts public space at its core, developing a complex system of relationships between spaces and heights.
“by virtue of the urban wisdom of the project,” wrote the architecture historian Claudia Conforti, “the working-class quarter and City of Sun merge into a complete urban unit, wrapping up a part of the city lost between monumental Rome, the historical outskirts and the convulsive metropolitan breath of the strips of the elevated and majestic tiburtina station designed by ab DR.”
Driven by the desire to test a new form of relationship between the local community and the shared spaces, despite the acknowledged complexity of the urban context in the capital city, the architects positioned the building structures according to a sort of grid, the result of extending the constituent axes of Tiburtino II. Continuing with this method, the aggregative function of the central square was integrated with raised walkways and street level routes, understood as authentic invitations to cross, discover and rest, with an eminently public function. Along their length, moreover, they provide previously unprecedented glimpses of the residences dating back to the early decades of the twentieth century.
For the architects Maria Claudia Clemente and Francesco Isidori of Labics “City of Sun is a highly specific project. It arises and belongs to the context in which it is situated; unlike many contemporary projects that are cloned like marketing products, it could not be located in any other place. Its layout, geometries, dimensions, and the solids/voids relationship arise from a careful reading of the context, both at the urban scale – in that it is located on the edge of the established city – and, primarily, local scale, in the intensity of the dialogue which interweaves with the neighbouring Tiburtino II. Even the articulated morphology of the public space, which represents the heart and real structure of the project, arises in a certain sense from the context, in addition to the desire to experiment with new forms of relationships between architecture, the city and public space.”
“the articulated morphology of the public space, which represents the heart and real structure of the project, arises in a certain sense from the context, in addition to the desire to experiment with new forms of relationships between architecture, the city and public space.” Maria Claudia Clemente and Francesco Isidori
The multifunctional program reflects this spatial arrangement, providing a commercial area at street level with office spaces above. On the façade, these latter are distinguished by a slight overhang and aluminium sunshades, made with commercial profiles pre-assembled into 4 different geometric combinations: the result is an effective composition and an original pattern. City of Sun offers two types of residences: “urban villas” and “tall houses.” The 8 urban villas, 100 and 160 square meters in size, are distributed over two floors plus a roof terrace and are designed as real single-family homes. They are found in the block occupying a central position on the lot of land. The tall houses, simplex accommodations of various sizes, are located in the tower volume east of the lot, with 9 levels above ground. They house 72 apartments ranging from 40 to 120 square meters. The loggias of these apartments vary in depth according to their orientation. In the library (not yet built), located at the head of the triangular lot, Labics has chosen to keep the reinforced concrete shelter, now painted red, designed in 1937 by the engineer Mario Loreti, which over the decades has become an identity element for the neighborhood.
Groundbreaking in 2010 led to the discovery of archaeological finds, including a monumental mithraeum, water conduits, mosaic floors and paving stones. These finds were included in the design and now represent a “hortus antiquario” open to the city and also visible from the high terraces. The historical layering discovered in the area further develops the layout conceived by Labics and expands the skillful spatial composition that guided the definition of the project.
DATA AND CREDITS
of the project
Name of the project
Città del Sole / City of Sun
Via della Lega Lombarda, Rome, Italy
Hines Italia SGR Spa (INPGI Hines Fund)
Labics (Maria Claudia Clemente, Francesco Isidori)
Luigi Panetta (team leader), Paola Bettinsoli, Chiara Capriulo, Gaia Maria
Lombardo, Michele Morganti, Giorgio Pasqualini, Filippo Pesce
– Structural engineering: Studio Pagnoni Vita
– Mechanical and electrical systems: 3TI Progetti
Site construction supervision
Eideo servizi d’ingegneria (Stefano D’Ambrosio)
Parsitalia Srl (general contractor)
Residential, offices, retail, public library and parking
Lot area: 11.000 square meters
Gross floor area: 17,300 square meters
Gross usable floor area: 11.800 sqm
– Residences: 5.500 square meters of gross usable floor area
– Offices: 4.200 square meters of gross usable floor area
– Commercial spaces: 2.100 square meters of gross usable floor area
– Library: 1.700 square meters of gross usable floor area
– Parking area: 10.000 square meters of gross usable floor area (including the
– Invitation competition: 2007
– Design: 2007 – 2010
– Groundbreaking: November 2010
– End of construction: November 2016
– Building envelope: Focchi
– Rubber flooring: Artigo
– Elevators: Schindler
– Windows for the residences: Metra
– Fire doors: NINZ
– Seatings in the public space: Escofet
– Marco Cappelletti www.marcocappelletti.com
– Fernando Guerra | FG+SG fotografia de arquitectura www.ultimasreportagens.com