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Roma Tre University Building

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Roma Tre University, located in Rome, Italy, recently unveiled a new development designed by Mario Cucinella Architects in 2021. The Rectorate of Roma Tre features three elliptical towers, a glass-faced auditorium, a public piazza, and a raised “hanging garden.” This new development has become a distinguishing landmark in Rome, designed to reflect elements of the historic architecture and engineering of the area, which was once an industrial quarter in the early 20th century.

Founded in 1992, Roma Tre University has extensively utilized abandoned industrial buildings. The new development is part of a wider redevelopment plan for the area that will include new housing in the future. The Rectorate of Roma Tre is situated adjacent to Via Ostiense, an ancient road from the city of Rome to the port of Ostia. The development aims to project a new image for Roma Tre University while paying homage to the rich history of the area.

The three towers, with concrete cores, rise through apertures cut into the mezzanine level “hanging garden,” serving as a semi-public gathering space. The towers are faced with a trellis-work of steel columns, glazed in parts, and open in others. This permeable and well-ventilated architecture provides shading while referencing the well-known 90-meter gasometer that occupies a prominent site on the banks of the Tiber close to Roma Tre.

The three intersecting blocks house the university’s management and administrative centers, a new language center, and the auditorium. The elliptical shape of the towers presents the least surface area to the East and West, reducing heat gain in the summer months while curbing the glare of the rising and setting sun. The gardens to the south of the towers, with their deciduous trees, aromatic plants, and lawns, provide additional shade and natural coloring as well as shelter throughout the seasons. Offices and meeting rooms are arranged around the perimeter of the towers to maximize natural lighting and ventilation.

The Rectorate of Roma Tre is a striking new development that aims to give a new and different energy to the city of Rome through its animated design and its purpose as a seat of research, teaching, and learning. It is a testament to the vision of Mario Cucinella Architects, who, along with his team, including Paolo Greco, Maria Persichella, Fabrizio Bonatti, Giulio Desiderio, and many others, worked tirelessly to bring this project to fruition. With the help of manufacturers such as iGuzzini and Kone, and engineers like Milan Ingegneria and Manens-Tifs Spa, the Rectorate of Roma Tre has become a landmark in Rome, Italy.

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