A large open-air museum of architecture between Flaminio and Parioli- Corriere.it

from Giorgio Montefoschi

A project for a “Contemporary District” that connects the buildings and structures of great designers, from Libera to Nervi, to Maxxi and the Auditorium.

Rome does not offer the citizens who live there, and the tourists, only the charm of the ruins: the Forum, the Colosseum, the Palatine Hill, in front of which the American or English protagonists of Henry James’ novels passed delightfully, as if stunned. ; the beauty of the shady baroque churches and Christian basilicas; Capitol and Galleria Borghese, in short the great beauty of ancient Rome. Tourists coming down to Rome from the consular roads Cassia and Flaminia, therefore from the north, e.g. the Romans living in the north of Rome, they may not know, or in the case of the Romans, they are not aware that when they walk or drive past, they walk through an area of ​​the city that is really open-air museum of architecture and art from the last century and the one we have lived in for twenty years now.

An area where there is shelter from a large ideal basket containing the neighborhood Flaminio, part of Pinciano, Parioli and the Tiber, are real gems – now ever closer to each other – designed by the great masters of Italian architecture. These are uniquely famous works which, for some strange reason, do not form a whole. What is this reason? Very simple: it is explained by that no one has bothered or had the necessary strength and the basic enthusiasm to “unite” themto design the whole that could in fact become a museum in the light of the sun.

Now, with the sponsorship of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the coordination of prominent scholars and the decisive push of the former Secretary General of Farnesina, Ambassador Umberto Vattani (to whom we already owe the prestigious collection of Italian contemporary art contained in the building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs), that project really seems to be able to take shape and be realized. It is called: «District of the present».

It’s a fascinating project. It is impossible to name all the works that are within this district. They are many. It will be enough to limit the “Homeric catalog” to a few buildings. Primarily Palazzo della Farnesina, designed and built in two phases (1939-43 and 1956-59) by the architects Enrico Del Debbio, Vittorio Morpurgo and Arnaldo Foschini, with the ball of Arnaldo Pomodoro in the square and the flag holder of Pietro Cascella. Then the complex of Foro Italico (1927-33) always designed by Enrico Del Debbio, with mosaics and statues of the Stadio dei Marmi. And again: the Sports Hall and Flaminio Stadium, both designed and built between 1956 and 1959 by Pier Luigi Nervi; the viaduct of Corso Francia, also signed by Nervi; the 1960 Olympic Village with projects by Adalberto Libera, Vittorio Cafiero, Luigi Moretti, Vincenzo Monaco and Amedeo Luccichenti; to come to the present and therefore in chronological order to Renzo Piano’s Auditorium, Bruno Happold’s Ponte della Musica, Zaha Hadid’s MAXXI Museum.

But not only. How many Romans passing in front of us know that the buildings and villas they live in are really lucky the streets of Parioli and Pinciano surrounded in these days by the second outdoor work of art, which is the Oleands, were they conceived by masters of architecture, such as Busiri Vici, Luccichenti and many others?

Today, the situation for some of these buildings is depressing. This is the case with the Sports Hall and Flaminio Stadium. Both abandoned and unmanageable. So it would be appropriate that one of the first tasks that Ambassador Vattani should do his utmost for and give the alarm clock (To whom? To the Municipality, the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, private entrepreneurship), is to restore them, immediately, and their full use. Then comes the beating cycle to move easily, multimedia and so on.

The experience will also be fundamental to creating an environment that provides a sense of togetherness. Experience, as in London’s Covent Garden, may be something that has little to do with art, but it cements. It is, new and trendy restaurants and bars and cafés where young people can quietly gather before and after a concert in the Auditorium or a ballet in the Olympic Theater, or a visit to MAXXI, instead of increasing the unfortunate nightlife of Ponte Milvio; shops; other libraries. In short, everyday life. So in reality we can say that the great beauty has touched and raised a little known, and instead extraordinary, corner of Rome.

June 5, 2022 (change June 5, 2022 | 08:29)

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