fuksas has completed the ‘new rome-EUR convention center and hotel’ in the italian capital, which forms the city’s largest building in more than half a century. costing a total of €239 million ($262 million USD), the major complex has been named ‘the cloud’, a moniker that references an independent cocoon-like structure situated at its heart. after 18 years of planning and construction, the scheme is now open to the public.

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externally, the scheme follows the orthogonal lines of the district’s 1930s rationalist architecture
image © moreno maggi / video © elisa fuksas

 

 

located in the business district of EUR, south of the city’s core, the layout follows the simple orthogonal lines of the district’s 1930s rationalist architecture. the complex hosts auditoriums, exhibition spaces, and a hotel, and is expected to generate between €300-400 million each year. two squares flank the building, providing venues for various leisure and outdoor activities and offering an area for public congregation.

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the ‘cloud’ is an independent cocoon-like structure at the heart of the building
image © leonardo finotti

 

 

designed by fuksas — the architecture studio led by massimiliano and doriana fuksas — the complex comprises three distinct architectural concepts: the ‘theca’ — a longitudinally-oriented steel and glass box; the ‘cloud’ — a geometrically undefined shape positioned inside the ‘theca’; and the ‘blade’ — an autonomous edifice containing a 439-room hotel.

fuksas new rome-EUR convention center
the steel-ribbed structure is covered with a translucent curtain
image © moreno maggi

 

 

made from a combination of metal, glass and reinforced concrete, the ‘theca’ is the outershell and façade of the convention hall and hotel. internally, 7,800 square metres of new public space hosts both public and private conferences, exhibitions, and large-scale events. the focal point of the scheme is the ‘cloud’, a steel-ribbed structure clad with a translucent curtain measuring a total of 15,000 square meters. this part of the design exists in direct contrast with the rational building that surrounds it, containing an auditorium for 1,850 people as well as various support services.

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the cladding measures a total of 15,000 square meters
image © leonardo finotti

 

 

the final architectural gesture is the ‘blade’ — a separate building split into 17 floors and containing a 439-room hotel. spread over 18,000 square metres, the structure also includes seven boutique suites, a spa, and a restaurant. the building has been constructed from 37,000 tons of steel, which is the equivalent weight of four and a half eiffel towers. meanwhile, 58,000 metres of glass has been used, enough to cover the surface of 10 football pitches. the complex is also fully earthquake-proof with the stiffness of the vertical structure able to withstand seismic waves.

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the scheme’s internal layout is intended to be as flexible as possible
image © leonardo finotti

 

 

from an environmental standpoint, a number of sustainable features have been integrated within the design. air-conditioning is carried out by a reversible heat pump, capable of achieving high energy performances while reducing electricity consumption. a natural ventilation system, which uses the cool water of a nearby lake, is also in place. rooftop photovoltaic panels help to produce energy, while simultaneously protecting the building from overheating through the mitigation of solar radiation. a rainwater harvesting system uses exterior panels to collect water and filter it into a storage tank for on-demand use.

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spaces can be reconfigured to accommodate large or small conferences, lectures, or events
image © leonardo finotti

 

 

the scheme’s internal layout was created with flexibility in mind, with interchangeable spaces able to be reconfigured to accommodate large or small conferences, lectures, and events. many of the interior details have also been realized by fuksas, including the red poltrona frau-made armchairs in the auditorium, and the bespoke ‘cloud’ lamp produced by iGuzzini. see designboom’s previous coverage of the project here.

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the layout follows the simple orthogonal lines of the district’s 1930s rationalist architecture
image © leonardo finotti

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the building’s foyer at ground level
image © leonardo finotti

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the ‘cloud’ is punctured with openings that offer external views
image © moreno maggi

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the 1,850-seat auditorium includes chairs designed by fuksas
image © leonardo finotti

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the ‘cloud’ glowing overhead at dusk
image © moreno maggi

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image © leonardo finotti

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at night, the building serves as a beacon for the district
image © maurizio marcato

 

 

an inside look at the project’s construction and realization
video © elisa fuksas

 

 

 

project info:

 

 

name: new rome/EUR convention hall and hotel ‘the cloud’
location: rome-EUR, italy
period: 1998 – 2016
client: eur SpA
architects: massimiliano and doriana fuksas
interior design: fuksas design
general contractor: societàitaliana per condotte d’acqua SpA
built surface: 55,000 sqm
engineering: plans: A. I. engineering, torino
structures: studio majowiecki; studio sarti
safety: studio sarti
acoustics: XU – acoustique, paris, A.I. engineering, turin
lighting consulting: speirs& major associates, edinburgh, london

 

competition (1st phase): november 1998
preliminary project: july 2001
definitive project: february 2004
executive project: march 2007
first stone: 11 december 2007
works start: march 2008
theca structure: may – june 2010
cloud structure: february 2012
opening: october, 2016

 

theca
structure: metallic and reinforced concrete
height: 39 m (from the underground level 48 mt), width: 70 m, length: 175 m
outer and transversal façades: stratified extra-bright glass and stratified lamellar extra-bright glass
inner façades: double gazing with solar factor cellular system and double gazing with solar factor REI cellular sys
outer façades: 16,075 sqm
outer longitudinal façades: 13,880 sqm (6,9420×2)
outer transversal façades: 2,195 sqm (1,301 via colombo and 894 viale shakespeare)
roof (11,000 sqm): glass with solar factor and 3,000 sqm panels with monocrystal line photovoltaics
inner flooring: travertine
forum: 7,500 sqm (public square)

 

cloud
structure: metallic
coating: microperforated atex® 2000 TRL sheet
flooring: industrial parquet
auditorium: 1,800 seats, seat ‘carla’ for poltrona frau designed by doriana and massimiliano fuksas
bar and foyer: 450 sqm

 

blade (hotel)
hotel–hall–restaurant: 2,600 sqm
hotel: 18,000 sqm / height: 55 mt
439 rooms, including 7 suites, 1 spa
structure: metallic and reinforced concrete
façades: black double glazing (grey + energy N) with solar factor, high energy performance

 

underground level
congress space: 7,800 sqm (6,000 seats)
meeting rooms: 600 sqm (4 meeting rooms, 100 seats each)
offices: 1,100 sqm
storage rooms: 3,470 sqm
concourse: 4.200 sqm
parking: 20,100 sqm (615 places)
lamps: ‘cloud’ for iGuzzini designed by doriana and massimiliano fuksas
congress centre restaurant: 700 sq.m.
main access square: 1,600 sqm

 

costs
initial cost estimate: € 276 million (year: 2007)
final cost: € 239 million (october 2016)

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