OUTPUT: ENVIRONMENTAL / URBAN DESIGN

CLOUD


N 41∘ 54’ 8.362”
E  12∘ 27’ 38.371”

The ‘generic city’ of the present is characterized by a particular spatial signature of objects and infrastructure, floating in an undifferentiated agglomeration of public and private spaces. One of the paradoxes of modernity is the possibility of living in ways we have never encountered before in the past. The pervasive reality and proliferation of the ‘non-place’ however, as an outcome of the reductive spatial strategies of the generic city, actually recognizes only one form of relationship.

Being elevated above the network of streets one may find itself in a new infrastructure, observing the body in relationship to our preconceived notion of ground.
The lack of sufficient public space in hot summertime disallows for citizens to use outdoor space sufficiently. The proposal is a seasonal inflatable structure. The elevated program allows vertical translation and expansion of existing public spaces specifying ground connections to pass through interior courtyards of existing buildings, referencing Nolli’s map of Rome. Expanding and stretching above the buildings and casting soft shading above the public ground space in hot summertime translates architecture into an urban cloud.

Elevated structure provides panoramic views of the city and a soft shading for streets and piazzas below. Roman streets unfold like a cinematic narrative in which architecture acquires a language of movement, generating a dynamic sensibility without actually moving itself. Our own perception activity engages with the subtle geometric displacements of the buildings, that relate directly to the movement of the body.


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Rome’s complex interaction between the temporal, the typological and the topographical is critical to understand its inherent palpability. Our relationship to the past remains palpable and yet unfamiliar, as unreachable as the future from the position of the present. Hovering somewhere between a saturated present and a ghostly evocation, the sensual experience of Rome, like the peculiar quality of a ruin, has the capacity to make the familiar strange, and it is the potential of this quality in the shaping of artistic language that allows new artistic and social alignments to emerge.

On one hand, in Rome, the complex gradations between public and private spaces are drawn from the superimpositions of ancient, medieval, early Christian, baroque and modern layers, creating strange and mysterious inner worlds that take precedence over private space. The nuanced spatial sequences from outside to inside and the ephemeral qualities that this can bring continue to expose the failings of contemporary urban planning and architecture elsewhere.
The form-finding process along with the program generation was inspired by overlay and miticulous studies of constantly changing urban site context. A disquieting narrative is revealed in the city’s historical fragments and layered spatial complexiy, once overlayed by city’s historical fabric. Research shows that Rome has an incredible capacity to embrace its contradictions and oppositions retrieving something of the sensual immersion and unpredictability, shaping unique city’s experience.







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