21st Century River Renaissance
Layered as a historical palimpsest of unparalleled culture, there is no denying the rare beauty of Rome: the Eternal City. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about its historic river Tiber, which today is more closely linked to the words ‘tired’, ‘rubbish’ and ‘graffiti’ then it is with ‘eternal’.
We invite you to design a 21st century River Renaissance for Rome, and turn the Tiber river into a new focus for the city by adding a contemporary layer to its eternity.
Layered as a historical palimpsest of unparalleled culture, there is no denying the rare beauty of Rome: the Eternal City. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about its historic river Tiber, which today is more closely linked to the words ‘tired’, ‘rubbish’ and ‘graffiti’ than it is with ‘eternal’.
In this competition, we set our sights on this legendary river and asked the world to reimagine a new focus for the city through its waters. We challenged creatives to design a 21st century River Renaissance for Rome, and turn the Tiber river into a contemporary catalyst for change.
The internationally creative community responded with some amazing proposals!
TIBER LIVING LABHuang Shengyu, Chen Mengtong, Wu Wenhao & Wei Lifeng
Modular spaces are created through pod-like stackable structures which reference the arch – a quintessential Roman invention – as it’s defining aesthetic. And just like the arch archetype changed the world of engineering and architecture forever, this winning proposal wishes to change the way Rome engages with its iconic river by injecting life into its currently desolate edges. ‘Tiber Living Lab’ adds vibrancy to the area through the use of mixed-use facilities, amenities controlled by techy-apps, a new infrastructure of transport, and a financial strategy designed to benefit both tourist and resident. All this is packaged into an attractive presentation.
Acqua Roma 2062Melissa Shin
If you can’t bring the Romans to the river, then bring the river to the Romans! Acqua Roma imagines Rome in the year 2062, as a city where ancient treasures come to life in renewed, water-based activities for the people to immerse themselves in. Drawing from Pirenesi’s 1762 Campo Marzio plan as its inspiration, three hundred years on the Tiber is allowed to spread through the city; resurrecting long-lost traditions in the form of bathhouses, natatoriums, and water stages which once were synonymous to Rome at a time when the city represented the pinnacle of society, innovation and civic excellence. Acqua Roma seeks to imagine a future Rome, where the addition of a fluid urban layer serves as a catalyst for the city to reinvent itself.
Vehiculum FluviumSergio Bianchi, Simone Fracasso & Simone Russo
This impressive proposal is a reinterpretation of Garibaldi’s ideas for the Tevere recontextualised to suit the contemporary and future needs of the city. An artificial river is created, allowing for the Tevere’s tidal waters to be redirected and thus saving the city from future violent floods. Amenities such as green wedges, green transport and new buildings are imagined to sit on the banks of the new river branch. Meanwhile, the old river gets given back to both man and nature through the creation of a soft verge turned park and the tunnelling of current primary traffic arteries. A new form of transport is introduced through the engineering of a monorail system, designed to make the city more accessible.
Procession of ArchesCharlotte Loustalot & Roman Joliy
This beautifully rendered concept delivers a strong proposal through the use of poetry defined by minimal architectural rhythm. Poetic places are created from the existing anonymous river’s edge by the introduction of reinterpreted arches which are allowed to age with time. The arches become the mechanism of visually and spatially breaking down the soul-less walls of the river by introducing a human scale to them. This allows for intimate moments to be captured between them, and for the water-level to become a beautiful element of the city in its own right.
To Swim the TiberAndrew Kwok & David Majoe
Water – we have seen – was a very important element for Rome throughout the centuries. Perhaps the best example of this can be found in the ancient Roman concept of public bath houses. These institutions served a very important function, not only as hygienic hubs but as pivotal social fulcrums where people of all classes interacted and engaged. ‘To Swim the Tiber’ reintroduced this concept, by creating a contemporary bath house in the Tiber River to act as a catalyst for interaction, river production and water purifier. The concept is generated through a combination of modules which link to another ancient Roman engineering stroke of genius: the arch.
Elevating the RiverfrontVonn Weisenberger & Julia Brooks
Rome’s relationship to the Tiber is physically reestablished by elevating the river edge. The sunken walkways which coast the river are rendered more accessible by lifting them on par with the urban level. These are made attractive by the use of flowerbeds, reeds and trees. But what makes this entry so captivating is the way in which water is turned into the main design protagonist through the creation of a wall of waterfalls, designed to shield the high river walls, purify the river and mask pedestrians from the frantic Lungotevere traffic noise. This creates a beautiful illusion which not only serves a function but adds to the romance of Rome’s river without overshadowing its unique views.
L’ISOLE DELL’ANIMALena Wimmer, Basel Hamad, Sebastian Gubernatis & Iris Huneau
‘Isole dell’Anima’ (translated as ‘the islands of the soul’) imagines a new role for the river through the creation of artificial island in the Tiber. Instead of interacting with the surrounding, the design team decided to work directly on the water, and let the rest of the city discover the intervention. The islands create a peaceful place where someone can isolate themselves in nature at the heart of the bustling city: a fluvial park or, perhaps most fitting, what we can only describe as an urban-water-oasis-cluster. It’s an elegant solution to an ugly condition. One which does not wish to overpower the city by imposing itself upon it, but rather create a new dimension at the heart of the urban fabric. Through a handy app, the islands can be accessed by self-driving water-taxis, allowing the Tiber to also double up as a new artery for the movement of its population.
Tiber TwoJacqui Stacey & Cameron Stevenson
There is a discontinuity between the urban city level and the river’s edge, rendered worse by the imposing flood walls which line the Tiber. ‘Tiber Two’ wishes to comment on this discontinuity by creating a new space for the city to enjoy. The result is an aquatic piazza on the river that unites the city through water, whilst simultaneously showing the discontinuity of levels between river and city. Two functions unite in this design: an element of relaxation and pleasure in the piazza and an active element of ‘flow’ elevated above it, designed to allow the river to continue its journey to the sea.
Refounding TiberAbdur Raoof Khan, Saman Imran, Fatima Urooj & Devesh Mani Tripathi
This project was voted by the general public online. The design proposes a new bridge for Rome with the intention of also bridging the past and future. The design takes inspiration from the Tiber legend of Romolo and Remo, the founders of Rome who were spawned by the very river. The bridge incorporates a bath complex to allow Romans and tourists to enjoy the waters of the river. The idea, in turn, is a nod to the ancient Roman bathhouses: an important element of socialisation for citizens of all classes, wealth and status.
Meet our panel of world class experts and fellow designers!
OFL Architects / Cityvision
OFL Architects / Cityvision
“Rome is the city where I chose to develop and spend the majority of my professional life. It's an elusive city, like the beauty that distinguishes it. For this reason, I would like to see participants capture through their own proposals the ephemeral and the illusion that lie behind Rome’s aeternitas, thus transforming themselves into an architectural force of equal sensitivity and destruction."
Francesco Lipari is an Italian architect working between Rome and Sicily.
Recipients of several prizes, including eight Maker Faire Europe merit and the Architizer People Choice Award 2014 – 2015 with the interactive garden Sainthorto and a small auditorium for insects and humans named Wunderbugs, Francesco has been recently awarded with the first prize for the New parish complex Saint Barbara in Licata (AG) and the Oscar Green 2016.
He’s founding principal of OFL Architecture, an interdisciplinary architectural practice established in 2009 and focused on emergent design processes through a methodology that integrates architecture with other disciplines, redefining the relationship of the significant modern city and its current urban conditions (e.g. Memoria and Zighizaghi).
Francesco is also founding partner and artistic director of Cityvision, a printed magazine and architecture platform with the aim of generating a dialogue between the contemporary city and its future image.
Francesco was formerly senior architect at Fuksas in Rome, Mad in Beijing and 3gatti in Shanghai.
He is part of the Community of Founders of Farm Cultural Park and one of the first architects involved in this sociological project which goal is to turn, through contemporary art and architecture, the whole historical centre of Favara into the second tourist attraction after the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento.
Francesco has also lectured in several schools, institutions and festivals such as Woodbury Architecture School in Los Angeles and San Diego, Escuela Libre de Arquitectura in Tijuana, Maxxi and Macro Museum in Rome and curator of several architecture projects.
He has also served as reviewer and member of the jury panle for the annual course of Woodbury in Rome during 2014 and 2015.
His work has been internationally exhibited and published including MoMA NY and WUHO Gallery Los Angeles that hold the first international exhibition of Worlds of Cityvision. He is currently running the Pecha Kucha Night in Rome and Agrigento and since 2013 writes for Wired Italia.
"Creativity, taking into account uses, space and time, and the spirit of innovation with regard to sustainable development seem to me to be the main qualities of the teams to be retained for this competition. I will also be careful that the quality and intrinsic identity of these banks of the Tiber in Roma will be also respected and developed."
After liberal activity and various experiences working with Alain Marguerit, Alexandre and Michel Chemetoff Corajoud, Emmanuel Jalbert founded the In Situ agency, with Annie Tardivon in 1991. He leads the projects of the Studio and runs the company. Since 2011, he is CEO of the Atelier In Situ - Landscape and Urban Planning.
3 Gatti Architects
3 Gatti Architects
"Don’t be afraid of your vision, even if it may look absurd. We all know that great ideas come from other dimensions. I encourage the use of meditation or alternative sources of inspiration."
Francesco Gatti is the founder and chief architect at 3GATTI, he was born in Rome from a British mother; after the studies and training in Italy, Scotland and the Netherlands in 2002 he established his own practice in Rome and in 2004 he opened a branch of his firm in Shanghai where he was challenged in several landmarks projects published worldwide.
Editor, Eleven Magazine
Editor, Eleven Magazine
Eloise joined Eleven Magazine in 2016 as Editor and Communications Director.
She was born in England in 1985 and grew up in a small village a stone’s throw away from Windsor. The world of art and design has attracted her from a young age and saw her experimenting with fine art, graphics, fashion design, photography, printmaking, textiles, screen-printing, jewellery design and digital media throughout her personal and professional life.
Eloise gained her BA (Hons) Fashion and Textiles degree in 2006 and later moved into the world of interior architecture obtaining a MA (Hons) Interior Design in 2011. She has worked on many diverse projects including collaborations with Tatty Divine, Cole and Son and the London Olympic Games.
She is a full member of the BSME (British Society of Magazine Editors).
Eloise loves to travel to experience different cultures and sights, which inspires her creativity. In her spare time she enjoys designing at multiple scales, taking far to many photographs, going to the gym and returning home to a healthy dinner of wine and cheese!
Zaha Hadid Architects
Zaha Hadid Architects
Patrik Schumacher has been a designer at Zaha Hadid Architects since 1988. He is a company director and senior designer of the practice as well as a co-author and project partner on seminal projects such as the MAXXI: National Museum of 21st Century Arts in Rome, the BMW Central Building in Leipzig and the Guangzhou Opera House in China. He is registered with the Architect’s Registration Board, and a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects.
Patrik studied architecture at the University of Stuttgart and at the Southbank University in London. He completed his architectural diploma and received his degree from Stuttgart University in 1990 and also studied philosophy at both Bonn and London Universities. In 1999 he received his doctoral degree Dr.Phil. from the Institute for Cultural Sciences at the University of Klagenfurt.
Since 1992, Patrik has been teaching at architectural schools in Britain, continental Europe and the USA. He is a co-director of the Design Research Laboratory (DRL) at the Architectural Association School of Architecture. He has co-taught a series of post-graduate option studios with Zaha Hadid at the University of Illinois - Chicago, Yale, Columbia and at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University, in addition to having been tenured Professor at the Institute for Experimental Architecture, Innsbruck University.
His contribution to the discourse of contemporary architecture is also evident in his published works and interviews available at www.patrikschumacher.com. In 2010 and 2012 he published the two Volumes of his theoretical opus magnum ‘The Autopoiesis of Architecture’.
Lorenzo Catena, Onorato di Manno and Andrea Tanci
Lorenzo Catena, Onorato di Manno and Andrea Tanci
"The beauty of Rome lies in the stratification of different ages and styles which throughoutthe centuries made the city what it is right now. Baroque, Imperial and Rationalist Architecture, they all live together in a wise armony of shapes and colors that make Rome unique in the whole world. But today the city seems to have lost this ability to create new beauty as expression of contemporary time and it seems to be stuck on the wonders of its past. What we expect from the proposals are interventions able to renovate the bond between the city and the Tiber through innovative and strategic solutions for the near future and able to write a new page in the history of Rome."
Founder, Eleven Magazine
Founder, Eleven Magazine
Andrea founded Eleven Magazine in 2015 and currently works as its Editor in Chief and Creative Director.
He was born in Bologna in 1984 and spent his childhood and teen years growing up in Italy, Hungary, Russia and Austria. At the age of 17 he moved to the UK to pursue his higher education in Architecture.
Andrea holds a BA (Hons) Architecture degree (2006), a Diploma in Architecture (2009), and in 2010 was awarded a fully-funded doctorate studentship, which he successfully completed with a PhD in Architecture and Urban Regeneration in 2014.
His architecture career has seen him active in both research, academia and practice. He has worked for Grimshaw Architects in London and taught at University in both undergraduate and post-graduate levels on subjects ranging from architecture/urban history and theory, sustainable design, emergent architectural trends, modular/movable architecture, responsive dynamic design, and nature-inspired design.
Andrea is a full member of the BSME (British Society of Magazine Editors).
In parallel to Eleven, Andrea works as a freelance designer and architect on experimental projects and international collaborations.
In his spare time Andrea enjoys traveling, photography and (English weather permitting) riding around on his motorcycle avoiding woodland creatures on country lanes.