Piazza Tevere, Rome Architecture Development, Italian Public Realm, Urban Landscape Design Images
Piazza Tevere in Rome
10 Sep 2020
Piazza Tevere by Tiber River
Design: Ballman Khapalova
Location: by Tiber River, Rome, Italy
Between the Ponte Giuseppe Mazzini and the Ponte Sisto there is a section of the Tiber River that is perfectly rectangular. It is the same size and proportion as the Circus Maximus, and like the Circus Maximus, this section of the river can become a vital center for public life in Rome: the new Piazza Tevere.
Inspired by Michelangelo’s cornice at the Palazzo Farnese, the creation of an inhabitable cornice at the top of the Tiber’s flood walls allows for the energy of the city to extend into the realm of the river. The Tiber, which currently divides Rome physically and experientially, becomes a place where the city can now come together.
The rhythm of the cornice follows the city fabric on either side of the river, with Michelangelo’s uncompleted Farnese bridge forming the only alignment across the Tiber. The alternating stepped profile of the cornice acts as structure and ornament, and allows for a varying rhythm at street level of amphitheater seating and gardens.
The gardens evoke the tradition of Rome’s intimate courtyard gardens, but here, the experience of the private garden is open to everyone. The forms and rhythms of the gardens are reminiscent of the inhabited, thickened walls surrounding ancient Roman baths. Within the gardens, fountains extend the experience of water up to the level of the street, forming a continuity with the many fountains found throughout the streets of Rome.
In order to facilitate activities at the river promenade below, the cornice, much like an opera fly tower, houses essential elements: light, sound, theatrical rigging, retractable screens for projection and display, a platform elevator for bikes, pedestrians, and equipment, and deployable seating for spectators. The cornice allows for a wide variety of art installations and performances to happen in the Piazza Tevere at various scales.
The multivalent nature of the activities housed in Roman baths is reflected in the programming of Piazza Tevere, gathering many possibilities into one place. In the street level gardens you can find a moment to yourself, a chance to play, and a place to watch the view. You can walk your dog, contemplate a work of art, enjoy a moment of calm, eat lunch from the street market, and have a quiet conversation.
Below, you can play bocce ball, go wall climbing, do pull-ups, climb a rope, sit by the water, take a walk, ride a bike, see large-scale art, and watch a performance from a floating concert hall. At night, Piazza Tevere turns into a performance stage and you can watch from above, or from below. The projector screens allow for a shared screening experience, encompassing the entire piazza.
Piazza Tevere in Rome, Italy – Building information
Location: Rome, Italy
Client: Kristin Jones/Eternal Tiber
Architects: Ballman Khapalova
Collaborators: Kristin Jones
Engineers: Thornton Tomasetti
Steel Fabrication: Cimolai
Kinetics Engineering: TAIT
Project Date: 2020 (Concept Proposal)
About Ballman Khapalova
New York based Ballman Khapalova are architects who strive to merge the intimate and the urban through imaginative structures, forms, events and activities that transform the way a city can see itself. Their urban work in neglected and desolate areas develops opportunities to introduce new spaces of play, art, performance, recreation, reflection, healing, and debate that can allow residents and visitors alike a chance to experience and envision a street, neighborhood, riverbank, or city in a new way.
Drawing on extensive experience in design and construction, they select and manage a highly capable team of contributors from the early stages of the design process, ensuring an integrated and feasible design that is physically, environmentally and logistically achievable without compromising its visionary promise.
Images: Ballman Khapalova
Piazza Tevere, Rome images / information received 100920
Location: EUR district, Rome, Italy
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