The Fiumicino Docks “Le Vele” Complex
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The Fiumicino Docks “Le Vele” Complex

The Fiumicino Docks “Le Vele” Complex
Edited By Editorial Staff -
The mixed housing operation known as the Fiumicino Docks “Le Vele” Complex occupies a site on which the former Fiumicino railway station stood, alongside the canal. Site features are the sky-line formed by the new municipal building, the outline of the now converted glassworks, and the fixed or mobile paraphernalia of canal life: drawbridges, rivercraft masts, tugs and other passing vessels. The Spaceplanners project experiments with a building system stamped with natural features, and the result in terms of materials, shapes and colours smacks deliberately of naval architecture. With its emphasis on inside/outside, exploitation of light, a sense of the wind and the proximity of the sea, the project goes in for spacious balconies, broad picture windows enabling the daytime quarters to spill out onto terraces, and a double prospect of the inside courtyard and its hanging gardens. The architects took special care with the choice and quality of indoor and outdoor finishings. The outer façades, with their play of overhangs and shadows and full/empty contrasts, are a careful blend of galvanized iron, glass, copper, aluminium and wood lending all the various building blocks a special ‘light’. Intriguing and innovative use has been made of Ondulit-Coverib protective multilayer panels which are applied to the vertical strips between windows, the protective layer of parapets and across the top of windows. This combines with a panel of insulation to form a thermal protection package. Ondulit-Coverib panels are again used for the sail roof over the staircases, as well as crowning the ventilation towers. The architects chose this multilayer protection for its efficacy against weather corrosion and noise. Finished on the outside in aluminium treated to resemble copper, this forms one of the references to naval architecture and its materials.

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