Fo.Ro. Living: like life in a forest
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Fo.Ro. Living: like life in a forest

The project involves the construction of a predominantly residential complex with retail and office components

MCA - Mario Cucinella Architects

Fo.Ro. Living: like life in a forest
By Luca Puggioli -

MCA–Mario Cucinella Architects took its lead for the design of Fo.Ro. Living in Rome from the image of an inhabited forest, full of trees and bushes of different heights, and with the colors of the bark creating a strong personality.

The project came into being through close collaboration with Laura Gatti, an agronomist and landscape designer who’s been recognized for a range of different projects, including her work as consultant on Milan’s Bosco Verticale project.

The Rome project will be located in the southwest of the area bounded by Via delle Sette Chiese and Via Cristoforo Colombo, which already has many parks and natural elements but is also densely urbanized. It involves the construction of a predominantly residential complex that incorporates retail and office spaces. The intention is to integrate the complex with the nearby green spaces while also achieving a continuity with the surrounding 20th century buildings – albeit through their reinterpretation. Fo.Ro. Living will be a symbolic and architectural culmination of Via Cristoforo Colombo, with its rows of maritime pines with large canopies. The project, therefore, aims to translate into architectural form the characteristics of the surrounding landscape and nature, while simultaneously detaching itself from the stereometry and monolithic nature of the nearby buildings.

The image of an inhabited forest will be further enhanced by the design of the lower section of the building, with the first two levels forming a kind of artificial orography, as if they were sections of land at different heights with rounded corners and straight edges. But it will be the vegetation as a whole that will define the building, with the balconies and terraces adding quality to both the project and homes, with large tubs of plants integrated into their edges.


A new perspective on the capital


Fo.Ro Living, which will have twelve aboveground floors, will be easily recognizable by the way its volume is fragmented by an interplay between its convex forms and the chromatic tension created by its extruded terracotta elements, with the latter giving the façade a look reminiscent of tree bark. Instead of multiple adjoining towers, for this large complex the architects opted for a single volume divided into rectangular prisms, softened by the curved balconies, offering multiple views to the east and west. Crowned by large terraces with swimming pools and garden beds, the top of the building will offer 360 degree views across the Roman area.

From the outset, the architects opted for dry construction systems, aiming to create a contemporary building that can later be partially or completely dismantled and repurposed to reduce its long-term environmental impact.


The bioclimatic project


From the initial stages of the project, there was a focus on achieving the right environmental conditions for functional, quality living spaces by maximizing the contribution of onsite natural resources. A climate analysis and the study of the context were fundamental, leading to a minimization of the impact on the environment through a series of passive strategies. These include, for example, wind permeability, natural light, rainwater collection, and energy production from renewable onsite sources.

In summer, transparent surfaces will be well shielded to reduce the incidence of direct sunlight and, therefore, reduce the need for active cooling systems in favor of natural ventilation. During the winter, however, solar gains will be maximized to provide adequate lighting and reduce the need for heating. To achieve the best possible performance, the building shell was designed to limit heat dispersion. Finally, with a photovoltaic system on the roof, each home will achieve the A3 energy rating, with annual energy consumption of between 0.40 and 0.60 kWh/m2.


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Location: Rome, Italy
Architect: MC A - Mario Cucinella Architects
Client: Impreme S.p.A
State: in progress
Area: 16.500 m2
Structures: Holzner.Bertagnolli
Greenery: Studio Laura Gatti
Property Agents: Savills

All images courtesy of MCA-Mario Cucinella Architects

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