"Via Colombo 80. The Rebirth of an Urban Landmark" is a new book from THE PLAN Editions that examines the redevelopment of an office building in Rome. The project was the work of Progetto CMR while the general contractor was De Sanctis Costruzioni.
“The greatest benefit of a redevelopment – in this case, the new Cristoforo Colombo 80 services sector building – is precisely the fact that it can breathe new life into a central part of the city, recovering under-utilized buildings that, with the passage of time, have become tired and lost their functionality and ability to attract people and businesses. Predominantly occupied by the offices of PwC, the decision to radically recover this building gives new vitality to the area and is, without doubt, a significant boost to related economic activities throughout the entire neighborhood, prompting similar operations in adjacent areas. The maintenance carried out on outdoor areas restored high-quality public space to the neighborhood, retaining and preserving the original design. Today, thanks to renewed use of the building, these elements are reaping benefit from new vibrancy. The decision to conduct on-site work in sections, enabling the company to continue to use the interior spaces, is worthy of special mention. This approach to works organization ensured that the site went almost unnoticed to Romans, not least because of the very rapid turn-around time.” – An extract from the chapter “A Virtuous Example of Redevelopment and Sustainability” by Eliana Cangelli.
This redevelopment project, commissioned by Prelios, is an excellent example of both sustainability and the reinterpretation of a historical building. Located to the south of the capital, the site is part of the larger Ostiense Garbatella urban project. Under this plan, over the last twenty years, important university and administrative functions have set up new headquarters here.
The renovation, carried out by general contractor De Sanctis Costruzioni, involved work on the interior and exterior spaces, building services, as well as the façades, with the addition of a series of vertical and horizontal components intended to limit direct sunlight and increase the level of diffused lighting. These micro-perforated metal sunshading elements on the façades amplify the sense of verticality of the original design.
By improving the building’s energy performance and reorganizing its interior spaces, Progetto CMR has ensured that the building, originally occupied by a credit union, has retained all its most notable functional, architectural, and artistic elements.
In both Italian and English, this book about the redevelopment of the building between Via Colombo and Largo Fochetti, Rome, opens with a brief introduction followed by two interviews. The first is with Francesca De Sanctis, CEO of De Sanctis Costruzioni, the project’s general contractor. The second is with Patrick Del Bigio, CEO of Prelios Group, the client, whose brief stressed efficient construction site management in view of the pandemic:
“The pandemic inevitably had an impact on the timeline for final delivery of the property, but we managed to keep the delay down to just a few months. Some activities had to be slowed down to ensure compliance with new regulations and avoid hazardous conditions for workers. In actual fact, thanks to scrupulous organization by the professionals involved, the construction site was shut down for a limited period only.”
After two chapters examining the urban setting and the architecture itself, there are two more interviews, the first with Massimo Roj, founder and CEO of Progetto CMR, in charge of the architectural project and space planning, and the second with Nicola Nicoletti, a partner of PwC, the company that now occupies the building. The book ends with a chapter dedicated to the construction site.
The book will be launched by Francesca De Sanctis during the webinar “Designing and Building in Rome,” scheduled for 4:30–6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 3.
>>> Register for the webinar here or >>> buy the book – in paper or digital format – from THE PLAN store
>>> Discover the complete program of the “Communicating Architecture” webinar series, which focuses on the dynamics of communication in architecture today
Title: VIA COLOMBO 80. La rinascita di un landmark urbano – The rebirth of an urban landmark
Publisher: Gruppo Maggioli S.p.A.
Designed: THE PLAN Art & Architecture Editions
Release: September 2021
Built area: 18'500 sq. m
Architect: Progetto CMR
General Contractor: De Sanctis Costruzioni
Photography by Daniele Domenicali