Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
IPOST Headquarters Building in Rome, Italy by Studiobv36
May 13th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal
The main starting point of the project is its strong relation with the urbanisation of the area, and its adjacency to a highly density block including Telecom building. These relations have pushed the project idea towards a dialogue with the urban scale, making the building like a “perspective block”, with a strong plastic impact.
The choice of the block is defined by the exact urban alignments, that opening onto and prolonging itself towards the city, we tried to transform the urban block from a closed object into a different vertical sequence of variable plane elements. The building is composed of 8 volumes in linear development, placed one on one. The main facade on Via Semeria is shaded by jutting volumes.
The solar exposition is checked by a particular technological system. Each glass facade is made up of three glass layer, in the layer between the two glass panels, we find a white polycarbonate panel made from special triangular matrix. This allows the light to reflect, thus checking the glare and storing heat. There are 8 panels with a different permeability, that give the building textural homogeneity and volumetric density with nuanced effect, from the ground floor until the last level.
One of the strongest suggestions in the design approach is the presence in the area of high density buildings and the proximity to a ten- storey block occupied by the national telephone company. These contextual relations have pushed the project idea towards a dialogue with the urban scale, making the building like a “perspective block”, with a strong plastic impact.
The typology of block, defined by exact urban alignments opening and extending themselves towards the city, has been transformed from a closed object into a vertical sequence of variable flat elements. The building is composed by eight longitudinal volumes, juxtaposed one over the other in an apparently casual relationship. This solution provides also functional aspects, like shadowing of main facade by jutting volumes.
At the same time solar exposition is controlled by a particular technological system that combines low -emissivity glass properties with a special polycarbonate panel made from triangular matrix interposed between two glass layers. This solution allows the light to reflect and consequently reduces excessive heating and also to control visual intrusion aspect.
There are eight panels with a different visual permeability, that give the building textural uniformity and volumetric density with vanishing effect, from the ground floor until the last level. The project task is providing Ist. Post. with a new headquarters building, to assemble on the same place – a site near the historical area “Garbatella” – offices at present spread on different city locations.
This project was intended to act as “catalyst” element to renovate a major area belonging to the Institute, comprising a large park, offices and sport facilities. The project area borders on the north side with the city center and is situated alongside Via Cristoforo Colombo, the road that connects the city Center with Ostia and the seaside, passing through one of Roma’s main tertiary area.
The project site is characterized by high vehicular accessibility, both private and public, thanks to bus routes and the presence in the nearby Ostiense “Station, where local trains and metro run. The urban surrounding of the new building site has grown in the sixties, and reveals the presence of many tertiary public and private buildings, such as regional government central offices, some city Government offices, Environmental National Department, and others.
The Site area is moreover qualified by the presence of an archeological roman complex, discovered during geological survey. These findings belong to a bigger archeological system, including a huge ancient roman water tank. (Another client’s request was the walkable connection with the large park area and the office buildings located on that side of the property. )
The project task was the design of an evocative work place, able to represent the complexity and importance of Ipost at an urban scale. One of the first suggestions in the design approach is the presence in the area of high density constructions and its proximity to a ten- storey block occupied by the national telephone company. These contextual relations have pushed the project idea towards a dialogue with the urban scale, making the building like a “perspective block”, with a strong plastic impact.
A “Block“ typology can maximize the ratio between surface and built volume, and is defined from the nearest urban alignments, but in this case the attempt to open it and to emphasize its relation with the urban environment has led to the transformation of closed blocks into a rising sequence of flat elements, with different spatial and functional characteristics.
The project works therefore on a double level: on one side it points to a continuity in urban form, on the other one it realizes a discontinuity element, intended to generate new effects and relations in existing forms. The building’s major axis is perpendicular to the direction of high traffic road passing nearby, offering a frontal view to cars coming from south and directed to city center.