ROME 2017

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.

Throughout history, water has come to define Rome’s identity, power and beauty.

Legend has it that Rome was born from the Tiber river and as it grew into an empire, water continued to play a pivotal role in its expansion and prosperity. Aqueducts, bath houses and hospitals were not only unprecedented technological feats, but ones which placed water as a central element in Roman life, forever solidifying its status, dominance and influence in the western world.

As Rome reawakened in Baroque times, water once again became the driving force for its renewal. Popes and patrons showcased their wealth and power by adorning the city with beautiful fountains, which helped define the Rome we still experience today.

Through this competition, we turns to water once again as a muse for change.


winner

TIBER LIVING LAB

Huang Shengyu, Chen Mengtong, Wu Wenhao & Wei Lifeng
(China)

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.

runner up

Acqua Roma 2062

Melissa Shin
(USA)

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.


Honourable Mentions:

Vehiculum Fluvium

Sergio Bianchi, Simone Fracasso & Simone Russo
(Italy)

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 Arches

Charlotte Loustalot & Roman Joliy
(France)

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 Tiber

Andrew Kwok & David Majoe
(UK)

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 Riverfront

Vonn Weisenberger & Julia Brooks
(USA)

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’ANIMA

Lena Wimmer, Basel Hamad, Sebastian Gubernatis & Iris Huneau
(Germany)

‘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 Two

Jacqui Stacey & Cameron Stevenson
(Australia)

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.


people's choice

Refounding Tiber

Abdur Raoof Khan, Saman Imran, Fatima Urooj & Devesh Mani Tripathi
(India)

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.



Jury:

Meet our panel of world class experts and fellow designers!

Francesco Lipari

OFL Architects / Cityvision

Francesco Lipari

OFL Architects / Cityvision

Emmanuel Jalbert

In Situ

Emmanuel Jalbert

In Situ

Francesco Gatti

3 Gatti Architects

Francesco Gatti

3 Gatti Architects

Eloise Carr

Editor, Eleven Magazine

Eloise Carr

Editor, Eleven Magazine

Patrik Schumacher

Zaha Hadid Architects

Patrik Schumacher

Zaha Hadid Architects

SET Architects

Lorenzo Catena, Onorato di Manno and Andrea Tanci

SET Architects

Lorenzo Catena, Onorato di Manno and Andrea Tanci

Andrea Verenini

Founder, Eleven Magazine

Andrea Verenini

Founder, Eleven Magazine