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Forum Tevere - Museum and Archeological Research Center - Rome - Italy

Part 2 Project 2014
Oana Anca Abalaru
Ion Mincu University of Architecture and Urbanism Bucharest Romania
The studied site for the diploma project is situated at the limit of Rome's historical centre, looking towards the main watercourse, Tiber, and is now an archaeological site, and, in the same time, a relatively recent gap in the city. These three terms mentioned: river, centre and archeology, considered as natural, urban and historical determinants, influenced the entire process of designing the space. Currently, the place is seen as an open wound along the river axis for two reasons: primarily because it represents an unused gate to the historical centre and, secondly, because its occurrence is recent and related to historical events not happy to recall.

Using an historical approach, the research started with the study of Rome's past, that allowed the identification of old and recent urban transformation, reflected in the current urban situation. The analysis of Rome urban strategic plans was a natural phase of the design process, assuring an appropriate relation of the project with future infrastructural and urban intention. Another important step was the archaeological approach through the stratification theory of Edward Harris, that tries to understand archaeologically, the relations between different layers of the past. His stratigraphic interpretation means that we can't understand the history by isolating one step instead of another, but only as a superposition in time. Therefore, the architectural response is a square, "furnished" by submerged spaces, ruins, built volumes of the new research centre and several intermediate spaces containing traces of stages undergone by the site and revealing to the visitor the urban stratification.

By giving a new interpretation of the site limit and eliminating the barrier condition, the project aims to be a catalyst for urban transformation and a tool of dialogue. The concept of Forum Tevere, reflecting some of the assumptions mentioned above, is a metaphor for a possible public space, integrating present, past and future in a multilayered urban image. Integrating the archaeological dig, the proposal tries to recall the forum, a roman celebrative square, the most important open public space in which elites use to meet, surrounded by temples and institutions.

Oana Anca Abalaru


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