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Conversion of Forte Antenne into a School of Design

Degree thesis project, oct. 1999 at Università "La Sapienza" of Rome.

Supervisor: prof. Benedetto Todaro

The project consists in the conversion of Forte Antenne - a XIX century fortress of Rome - into a School of Architecture, specialized in Interior Design, Landscape Design and Industrial Design courses. The architectural and orographic morphology of this ancient complex looked compelling and challenging from the first approach. All the parts of this fortress were totally wrapped in the grass and covered by fertile soil and trees. This feature, originally conceived for the ballistic defence of the fortress, in my project became an example of virtuous integration of architecture and nature, according to the modern demand of sustainability. A good adaptive reuse project first has to find contact points between ancient shapes and present needs.In my conversion design process, I first tried a soft approach, but the simple restoration of the existing spaces was not a satisfying solution: the project had no character and the rooms were too dark and narrow to be used as classrooms or laboratories. By moving around my model and observing it from different perspectives, I had the idea to throw a bolt against it; after all it was a fortress and it made sense that my design approach was an attack.In the final layout the bolt contains an exhibition space for the students’ works. All the other changes and the new spaces appear as produced by the shock wave coming from the impact of the bolt.


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