Reinvent the building you hate in Rome | Second place


Location: Rome

Year: 2014

Project team: Alessandro Acciarino, Alessio Agresta, Francesco M. Azzopardi, Iacopo Benincampi, Gabriele Corbo, Jacopo Costanzo, Marco Fabio Ortolani


Via dei Condotti and Via Tomacelli, represents an important orthogonal axis in opposition to the trident shape organization of the Campo Marzio. The ultimate design of this system was concluded in 1725 with the Spanish Steps inauguration. This has been the most strategic urban intervention in Rome during the Baroque period.

From mid XVII century, this elaborate urban compound was defined starting precisely with the first drawings of the Spanish Steps. Paradoxically, it’s realization will beat the end of the entire redefinition of the area, more than one century later.

Trough the years, the building of the Barcaccia, the Porto di Ripetta with the relative Fontana dei Navigatori and the Chiesa della Santissima Trinità degli Spagnoli, shaped the entire area.

We think that only Bernini’s Fontana della Barcaccia in Piazza di Spagna and the Chiesa della Santissima Trinità are the surviving elements that provide evidence to the original aim of the mentioned complex. That is to connect three disjointed levels: the hill, the Campo Marzio layer and the Tiber. A requirement that became necessary since the launching of the Acqua Vergine aqueduct.

Nowadays, due to the disappearance of the baroque docks along the Tiber, the invasion of the “haute couture” fashion boutiques all along Via dei Condotti and mostly because of it’s mere commercial and touristic value, we strongly feel the need to destroy in order to rebuilt.

Our proposal could not be more obvious and at the same time more provocative: a long tapis roulant with the purpose to reactivate the original Via dei Condotti/Via Tomacelli axis that leads to the Steps with a four ramps escalator. These ramps will allow, eventually!, a fast and cutting fruition of the reborn urban pedestrian system.

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