DEREK PIROZZI DESIGN WORKSHOP LLC
OVERLAY : ROME COMMUNITY RING
YOUNG ARCHITECTS COMPETITION
LOCATION : ROME, ITALY
TYPE : INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION
TEAM: DEREK PIROZZI AND DAVID ZAWKO
YEAR : 2015
Preserving the Historical and the Natural
In an urban environment, on the edge of an ancient city defined by timeless and significant architecture, an opportunity awaits. Forte Portuense evokes the rich character of a region, a raw and undefined cultural beacon centered in a community, existing as one piece to a ring of former military protection. Exploiting and enhancing the inherent beauty of the site both man made and natural, the intent of this proposal becomes the preservation of the historical, the education of the visitor and the housing of the regions bountiful environmental resources. The resulting experience establishes a series of layers each preserving, educating about and nurturing this once hidden treasure while simultaneously establishing a methodology applicable to the network of preserved fortifications.
Symbolically celebrating the rich layering of culture and antiquity, the architecture proposed floats lightly over the site, encapsulating and enveloping the decaying structure. Formally, the large green planes drifting above the site become redolent of a detached landscape defying gravity and creating an almost biosphere like environment saturated with plants, flowers, trees, herbs, fruits and vegetables all found locally within the region.
Acting as a champion for an urban green space, our proposal generates an amplified park with the intent to bolster the health and wellness of a community while become a center for education on the natural environment. Housing such program as an arboretum and vivarium coupled with a kindergarten and senior center, this place creates an environment which enhances the overall education and well being for all ages both young and old.
Staying true to the preservation of history, the gesture becomes a protective overlay encompassing the forte and preserving the historical walls from the deteriorating effects of erosion and mans inflicted vandalism. Now an interior space, the forte itself acts as a large event center, housing a double height gallery / museum space on the ground floor for regional, national and international artwork. Held within the old brick chambers of the forte, patrons are able to engage with an architecture that celebrates the wonderful possibilities of a once military establishment turned public social center.
The large expansive green roof provides a much-needed respite from the urban street life found outside the forte’s walls. This grand “bowl like” structure creates a spacious amphitheater perfect for sizable music concerts and other outdoor festivals. Truly becoming the epicenter of the community, Forte Portuense will be transformed into the ideal civic center promoting healthy living for visitors both native and foreign. The encompassing mote once used as protection for the old forte, will now be re-purposed as a large exterior / interior swimming pool replenished by the on site spring wells. Found under ground. Contained within the overlaying architecture is an interplay of functional program from economic generating event space to rooms for district association gatherings and kindergarten / senior center programs. Embracing healthy living through local cuisine, the forte is also home to a large café with a focus on slow food culture and the sale of local products, meats and vegetables. The proposed architecture for the forte becomes identifiable with a healthy neighborhood.
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