Municipality of Rome, EUR
Maurizio Marcato / PA Images
Keith Bradshaw, Iain Ruxton
Set within the historic EUR district of Rome, a new 55,000 m2 convention centre designed by Studio Fuksas was inaugurated on 29 October 2016.
The dynamic, shifting, tonal nature of clouds added another dimension to the design. We added subtle texture to the lighting of the 'Cloud', using continuous variation in the tones of white light combined with carefully designed shadowing that makes use of the complex three dimensional steelwork. This deliberately understated animation brings huge depth to the experience of the space, and supports the sensation of what it might be like to walk in a cloud.
Our focus was on revealing and enhancing the distinctive organic nature of the iconic "Cloud" structure in juxtaposition to the rigidly orthogonal steel and glass outer envelope of the building 'Theca'. Taking a macro view on the project, we conceived of the idea that the Cloud would be "self-illuminated", such that it would behave as if it were a gigantic single source of light. The resulting glowing light-form appears to hover ethereally within the Theca, drawing the eye through the glazed screen and creating a fabulous external tableau. Even better, the design of this thematic lighting effect also provides the majority of the pragmatic light needed for the functional operating of the centre.