Italian architecture practice Studio Fuksas has completed the largest building in Rome in over 50 years. Opening to the public in October 2016, the New Rome/EUR Convention Centre and Hotel ‘the Cloud’ is a €239 million earthquake proof complex that has taken 18 years of planning and construction. Studio Fuksas is led by Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas, and has offices in Rome, Paris,Shenzhen. The practice employs around 170 professionals, including architects,designers, modellers, landscapers, graphic designers. With built projects across Europe, Asia and North America, Studio Fuksas is characterized by an innovative approach as well as interdisciplinary skills and experiences consolidated over three decades.
We use a lot of 3D. We start with 3D, with the model, with painting. For me, the 3D model and painting are exactly the same thing; I am not afraid, I am not a fanatic for 3D, I am not a fanatic for models or sculpture, drawings or for paintings. I think that everything is part of our process. I don’t think there is exclusively one tool for the expression of ideas.
The complex will host auditoriums, exhibition spaces and a hotel -amassing 55,000 square metres in new public space. Located south of the city’s core, in the business district of EUR, the complex follows the simple orthogonal lines of the surrounding 1930s rationalist architecture.
The project comprises three distinct architectural concepts: the basement, the ‘Theca’ and ‘Cloud’,and the ‘Blade’.
The basement is accessed on Viale Cristoforo Colombo, via a staircase that leads into the building’s main foyer and information point.Past this area, a large concourse feeds into an expansive congress and exhibition hall that can host up to 6000 people.
The ‘Theca’ is the stunning outershell and façade of the convention Hall and Hotel,which has been made from a combination of metal, glass andre-enforced concrete. Inside the building, 7,800sqmt of new publics pace will play host to public and private conferences, exhibitions and large-scale events. Suspended inside the ‘Theca’ is the ‘Cloud’ -the interplay between these two spaces is essential to the complex– symbolising the connection between the city of Rome and the convention centre. The ‘Cloud’is an independent cocoon-like structure that is covered in 15,000 square metres of highly advanced membrane fiber glass and flame-retardant silicone and is supported laterally at points by the ‘Theca’.It lies at the heart of the complex and is accessed by the ‘Forum’ –an artery walkway that fuses the two structures together. Inside the‘Cloud’, five levels (supported by escalators and walkways) lead to a 1,800 capacity auditorium. In order to ensure that the ‘Cloud’ system does not interfere with the rest of the complex, the auditorium is clad in wooden cherry panels.