Rome 2010 Vertical Spa Design competition

Rome 2010 Vertical Spa Design competition

Rome, Italy
Project Year



Rome 2010 Vertical Spa Design competition

MORQ as Architects

COMPETITION BRIEF THE CHALLENGE (from the original Brief) ARQUITECTUM and the Istituto Nazionale di Architettura want to bring a new element to the city’s debate and enigma: a hundred meter high tower, next to the Colosseum, which would present itself as an “important” element, but not necessarily monumental, which would expose Rome’s complexity by being a “vertical” Rome, which would assemble the facts and the enigmas lived and surviving in the Eternal City. The challenge of this competition is, of course, to discover this “belonging” to Rome, the hidden beauty and exposed all over the city as a mendicant spirit, wandering lost, waiting for the architect willing and able to capture it. Therefore the suggested tower will serve as an element demonstrative of this spirit, projecting it in the present time and the uncertain future of a city which has survived every kind of buildings and can always take in a new one: refreshing, renewing and exposing of the constant rebirth of its vital structure. PROJECT DESCRIPTION “...Rome is situated between two different worlds: to the west the chthonic world of the Forre and to the east the classical landscape of the gods. We desire to feel the echo of the ancient archaic underworld of the Forre (the “sunken” valleys of Etruria, where spaces are closed in by continuous walls of golden brown tufa); Its “sinister awe”. The Forre brings us close to the ancient forces of the earth (and water); They bring us inside and give us roots.” * Condensed Form The Tower possesses a richly articulated interior that is enclosed by a golden-brown envelope pierced in different ways to allow natural light penetration and catch the views: Sculptural views towards the Colosseum and Tito’s Baths (from Pools, Rest lounge, Cafe...); Continuous panoramic views towards the city (from Hot Tubs, Urban Terraces...); Small framed views towards the gentle landscape of the Alban Hills (from Massage rooms etc.) The site is designed as a small sloping plaza following the gradient of the street where people can gather and relax. The Entry (LEVEL 0) is a lowered space opening into a 12 m. high hall framing the view of the Colosseum. The cell-like spaces of the Saunas (LEVEL 5/6) create intimacy and offer private balconies projecting out and framing the views. The cantilevered pool (LEVEL 9) suggests the urban terrace to have a cave like atmosphere where the sheer weight of the tower encompasses the observer. The ramps connect the Hot-Tubs/ Massage (LEVEL 14/18), offer an alternative circulation for the clients with open views to the west of the city. The Hot-Tubs spaces are designed as horizontal spaces framing the views through multiple openings: the glazed screen of the ramps to the west, the rectangular openings to the north, and the deep irregularly carved holes to the south facade. The West elevation reveals the complexity of the interior -a cluster of spaces of various size and shape- whilst the remainder of the tower remains more impenetrable.

The Authorship of the submission is of MORQ (Emiliano Roia, Andrea Quagliola and Matteo Monteduro).

Project team
London Aquatics Centre
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London Aquatics Centre

Swimming Pools
Olympic Delivery Authority, United Kingdom - Build completed in 2014
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