Located at a fairly short distance from some of Rome’s world famous monuments between Via Casilina and Via Tuscolana in the densely inhabited neighborhood just beyond the Aurelian Wall, the project for the headquarters of pharmaceutical company Angelini was a major challenge from the start. Called in 2005, the international competition entered by firms like Grimshaw Architects, Wiel Arets Architects, Mario Bellini Architects, Camerana & Partners, Studio Seste, and Ian+ was won by the Rome-based firm Studio Transit -
comprising architects Gianni Ascarelli, Manuela De Micheli, Alessandro Pistolesi and Sergio Vinci - together with architect Enzo Pinci. The strategic importance of the overall goal - to develop quality architecture not only to promote a company’s corporate identity but also as a means of triggering urban regeneration - required that client, local authorities, and all other players operate in harmony. It was agreed that the first step to ensure quality was to call an international competition, developed jointly by Angelini and the city authorities.
Studio Transit’s articulated project was a strategic approach to the dual requirements of the brief: renovation and extension of a former industrial building within a strict regulatory framework with an eye to promoting broader urban renewal. The project is not just a simple restyling exercise. The amount of flexible usable volume has been increased, innovative technologies introduced and the former closed city block extended and opened up to the area around it. Demolition and reconstruction posed no few practical worksite problems, not only in terms of creating as little disruption as possible to local inhabitants, given the densely populated urban context, but also because the company had to remain operational for most of the period. For this reason, work was executed in two stages.
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