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Rome International Centre - Three D Cubed

Part 1 Project 2003
Russell Ward
Lucy Block
Leeds Beckett University Leeds UK
Rome sees many orthogonal blocks of developments centring around a courtyard, often in gridded configurations. The 21m square site was extruded into three dimensions to form a cube, symbolic of the multi-cultural language of mathematics and geometry. This was divided and peripheral blocks slid vertically past one another to various underground depths in order to reserve a public piazza at ground level - a feature of Rome and a modern interpretation of the courtyard.

The earth's surface was to be taken as an elevated plane upon which humans undertake life’s tasks. The final composition of an elevated piazza/courtyard forms a sunfilled, flexible space creating a neutral but suggestive background for an unprecedented range of culturally diverse events.

Russell Ward
Lucy Block

“Babel Revisited and Reappraised” was a design-project -brief for a hypothetical International Centre in Rome.
Russell Ward identified a respect for geometry as being a common factor in the architecture of most nations. His design consists of two implied cubes, one above ground; one below. The composition evokes Rubik’s Cube and Adolf Loos’s Raum-plan concept. It is abstract yet functional. Each cube contains smaller enclosed volumes defining its height, depth and width. The upper cube is dominated by a piazza for outdoor ceremonies; the lower by a multipurpose hall. The cubes’ perfect geometry contrasts with the irregular medieval city-scape, identifying the International Centre as a public building, integral with the lines of latitude and longitude of the planet. Simultaneously, lines derived from the geometries of the immediate surroundings slice the scheme, making it site-specific.
He works in conformity with strongly maintained personal codes and convictions, setting himself extremely high standards.


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