December 10th, 2012

And here I’m back from Rome, with a terrible cold. Unfortunately, the weather there in November is worse than one in London! Got soaked twice. And they also drink tea (do they?) from cups of an espresso size.. Two sips and youre done.

However, we went to Rome with DS15 in order to pick a site for our project. Most of the sites to choose from were very sensitive, like The Colosseum, Roman Forum, Trajan’s Market, St. Peters Square, etc…

One would think why on earth would someone design on a Colosseum’s site. We base our programmes on the idea of the City as a Living Museum, where the population growth raised the need of densification of the city’s use. The interesting bit is that Colosseum had already been very close to becoming a Wool Factory with Housing for workers in the XVI century. One dude called Sixtus V (a Pope) was into infrastructure & stuff, and decided to replan the Colloseum to become a wool factory! Aldo Rossi mentioned this in The Dynamics of Urban Elements… and cited Domenico Fontana: ‘Already they have begun to remove the earth surrounding it, & to level the street that comes from Torre dei Conti and goes to the Colosseum, so that it would all be flat, as today one can still see the vestiges of this removal; & they worked there with sixty horse carriages, & a hundred men, so that [if] the Pope had lived one [more] year, the Colosseum would have been reduced to housing.’

I have chosen my site on the Roman Forum site – The Basilica of Maxentius, to be exact. It sits grandly above the ground plane of Via dei Fori Imperiali, overlooking the Colosseum. The three half-domes that have remained will be the exciting bit that will pimp-up my proposal for the Luxury Retail Centre!

Will keep posted!

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